Maybe it’s tennis, maybe it’s soccer, hockey, riding, skiing, etc., no matter, most have an interest of which we derive our own joy of participation.  The more we like our choice of activity, the more time we spend trying to make ourselves better, extracting our full potential for maximum benefit and enjoyment.  Training and practice ensures that with wherever our interest lies, when we actually participate in our chosen activity in earnest, we mentally and physically realize real ‘Joy’ and self satisfaction!  Terrific!

As much as we have teachers, instructors, Sensei and coaches, at the end of the day, the only one responsible for any type of incremental advancement on our behalf… is ourselves! All these leaders we look up to, are guides on our path, it us that does the real work!  Yes, they motivate, inspire, provide technical guidance, assist in overcoming perceived obstacles to advancement and lead the way, but our steady progress is determined by only ourselves and a desire to enjoy and move forward.

Martial arts, in particular Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu Karate is the example I’ll use as I am familiar with same.  This art and the proficiency required for full enjoyment and advancement (as in any activity), is greatly enhanced by regular training, both in and out of the dojo.

‘Training’ can take many forms, with any and all, enhancing the experience and hastening good results!

In karate, we may stretch, weight train, strike Makiwara, jog, flow drills (with or without a partner), read books on the subject, converse with like minded people and regular conversation with your Sensei (the insights imparted are very beneficial!), spar, heavy bag, Kobudo, meditate, assist in class, do consistent kata work and anything else you can do to develop!

Seminar participation is another all around wonderful trading adjunct that often elicits a fear of the unknown - all for naught!

To step outside the comfort of your home dojo and be exposed to new ideas from someone new and exchange ideas, meet new people and forge new contacts is another training avenue that often yields another level of understanding, confidence building and positivity!

Whatever your interest, enhance it by training to the best of your ability and enjoy the fruits of your labour! 

Gary Christensen 🇨🇦