24. Intern. Sommer-Gasshuku

06.09. bis 08.09.2019

in Hamburg

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Deutsche Meisterschaft im MMA und No Gi Grappling


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How can traditional Karate be boosted or promoted in today's modern society?

In order to get to the bottom of this question, it is important to explain what one understands by "tradition".

By tradition - from Latin tradere, trans= over and dare=give, also tradizio=transmission - one understands the transmission of believes, patterns of action and conceptions of faith or the object of transmission itself, like for example the customs of a culture. This can take place in oral or written form, through the educational background or through playful imitations.
Tradition is also the heritage that is passed from generation to generation. Nowadays I often hear idioms starting with the words: "It is tradition that..." or "This is a traditional..." What are these statements about? Does it mean that it was always like this? That it is very old? I think people deal with the concept of Hublot Replica tradition in a superficial way, especially in martial arts. Are there really that many teachers who have actually taken part in the transmission of the martial art that they teach? If the answer is positive, are they really willing to forward in a responsible way what has been transmitted to them or do they boost confessions just in view of today's modern society? For sure there is a difference between traditional Karate and sports karate.
People often associate sports competitions with performance, which is different for traditional Karate. Here it is not about cups and victory, but rather character building and the absolute will to reach perfection in terms of technique cheap Christian Louboutin and self control. It is not important, whether you win over the others, but rather the awareness of the trainee to be on the right track. In order to reach this, the student has to believe that he/she is part of an authentic tradition, which has passed through generations, directly from the teacher to the student.
Obviously you have to consider that at the beginning martial arts only made for the aim of self defence and to reach the goal. Nowadays it is unimaginable to teach or train traditional Karate, in order to reach the goal, to cause mayor damages to somebody. Since the aim of Karate training is not the practice and the competition, then we should ask ourselves how traditional Karate Celine Replica Bags can be communicated in our modern society.
I strongly believe that if one sees more than just the acquisition and the practice of such techniques, one gets closer to become a better person, even though, as I mentioned earlier, one is responsible for his/her spiritual development. This is exactly our chance! Since I teach a lot of children and young people, I would like to go into this topic a little bit more in details.
I understand that a lot of them just want to test themselves and to see if their reflexes, their courage and the techniques that they have learned up to that point are enough to face a fight. Obviously they strive for cups and medals. Just few of them care about tradition. My task as a teacher (not as a trainer) is to prepare this age group in the training and give them a good basis of technical skills and body awareness. The most important thing is always to remind them that they have to pursue their art, so that this art becomes a philosophy of life. Practising Karate not just in Dojo but also in the correct understanding of each person is a great help also in real life. Building this bridge is very important to me. In order for young students to understand what the term tradition actually means, they have to learn strict rules and behavioural patterns. I think of honesty, respect, attention, calm and staying power, which are all qualities that have to be transmitted and be made clear to the students through examples and I consider this to be an important task of the lesson of traditional Karate. I admit that sometimes it is not easy to communicate this balance in the every day life, to explain to the students that it does not matter what belt colour they have, but rather to explain that it only depends on what they can actually do. It is not always easy to teach them that victory is not the most important thing in a fight, but rather the important thing is the self- training and the training with their friends. It is not always easy to encourage them again and again not to disregard the "boring" traditions, since Karate is not just a technique, but also an interior attitude that is reflected in people's behaviour. This begins with a friendly "Good morning" when they enter the Dojo and it continues with the respectful bow, at the beginning and at the end of each lesson, in order to bethink seriously and to perform consciously all the rituals. The difficult part is to do this in such way that nobody loses interest in Karate. The cause of boredom for children and teen-agers is often the training of the same patterns of movements, whilst for older people it is the training, which is maybe too hard and challenging and the confrontation with their weaknesses. This is my every-day challenge: to find the right ways to always plan the lesson in a different and interesting way, without losing tradition. In order to be and to understand to be an example for your students and to motivate them again and again, it is not always important what you say, but rather what you do. To be there when they need some advice, but also to criticise them when they need to be criticised. To create an environment where each person (be it the student, the parents or the guest) feels good. A lot of parents appreciate it a lot when their offsprings are pointed out that when they are entering the rooms they have to stay back and take off their shoes and that at the end of the lesson they should always fold their Karategi, keep order and cleanliness and enter the Dojo with clean hands and feet.
In order to teach traditional Karate to teen-agers, it is important to do it not only with strict rules. A personal praise and appreciation are as important and sometimes they can work wonders. It is often fundamental that the students just feel understood and well protected. I think that giving each person a feeling of trust, which means to them that they are part of something special, is extremely valuable.
One can reach a better understanding of tradition through laid-back chats. Often there is no tantalizing explanation in a cozy circle: in the past the teacher and the students met in the Dojo (Mondo), but today I try to hold these conversations on open air, during adventurous training weekends. During these weekends to sit down and listen to the students' problems is very important, just like to answer questions and speak about tradition and old times. Together with the daily training in the Dojo, I always try to organize events that boost the contact with the others and that strengthen the relationships.
For instance our school has taken part in a Musical, whose topic was "Youth and violence". Furthermore every year we are in charge of a middle-age booth during the "Stadtfest" (the fair of out city) and we donate all the revenues to sick children. Also the first "Wittenberg Kampfkunstgala" (Wittenberger Martial art gala) that we have recently organized has helped the students to deal with the tradition of their martial art.

Our society changes rapidly and everything has to become always better, faster, higher and more up-to-date. Old things seem to have no value anymore, experience is not important anymore - where is the human being?
With the passing of the years I could observe that a lot of people are always looking for more fulfilment and tradition and I realize that these people do need the values involved.
They want to take part in a firm and unbreakable scaffolding. Like a young tree they need hold and protection in order to settle down and grow up.
For this reason in the modern world that changes faster and faster, we, as martial art teachers, are asked to protect tradition, but also to find new ways to keep it alive. There is nothing that changes so permanently like time, yet one should never stop fostering tradition.

Personally I believe that we can cope with this if we act like examples from the bottom of our heart and with firm conviction.

I am very happy and proud of having found in my teachers people who do exactly this and give me the opportunity to train the traditional Okinawa Goju Ryu Karatedo.

Thankfully yours,
Gerd Richter

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