Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Knockdown Fighting

Last July 24 World Yoshukai Karate held theio knockdown tournament in Oxford, Alabama. This is a fighting only tournament, no kata, no weapons, just plain fight.

In the morning I was judging the kids semi-knockdown fights. Some young kids - 8 or 9 years old - were bravely going at it, fighting pretty hard. Good thing they used protections...

And I wondered while watching them : "What are we doing here ? Teach those kids how to be mean and violent ?"



As instructors we have to keep in mind that the only valid justification for this kind of event and fight is to develop character. Fighters suffer, they win, they lose, suck it up, train harder, and come back til they win. 

Winning feels really good. But this feeling does not last and can become addictive. After the celebration, not much is left of it. The real learning, and improving, we derive from the fights we lost.

So no matter what happens, be thankful to your opponent, who helped you learn a good lesson for life : the lesson that by training hard, one is able to overcome one's fears, laziness, weaknesses... and become a stronger and better person.

Yes, we will meet nasty fighters who have no manners and whose goal is only to win, at all cost, who might even cheat on us. Sometimes the judges might make poor calls, because they did not see the action, or even because they are biased in favor of your opponent. We might lose a fight we should have won. It's happened to me a few times.

We still can learn from losing in an unfair match. 
 
We fight to become better person, to acquire will power, resilience, patience. Little by little, we are changing, we are building a better self, acquiring the experience and courage we need to help those who need it around us.

Let's not lose sight of this...