by Sensei Walt Fast
December, 1997

Doing karate is sometimes pretty complicated stuff. From a kids point of view it's downright confusing:

Zenkutsu-dache - left leg forward, knee over the toe, back leg straight and keep your back straight. Now move quickly and smoothly across the floor! Ha! Easy for you to say Sensei!

That's about right too as far as the Sensei goes. He's the one that's been doing this stuff for years and years till it's like second nature. A "no-brainer".

Sometimes if I don't think, I'll get caught doing the same thing I did last time sparring this guy. Geez, and he remembered too! Fun isn't it?

I'll figure him out and beat him this time ... yahoo!

Next time I've got him all figured out, we start off and Hello, where did that come from?!

Darned if he didn't go and do some thinking himself. Wait till next time.

It takes time and patience. Sometimes these two things are hard to come by, let alone master. You've heard the prayer "Lord give me patience" ... but I want it now!! That's true isn't it?

One Sensei autographed his book for me years ago. His accompanying inscription read "Patience is the ballast of the Soul". I nodded sagely like I knew all about that patience stuff. Well maybe I did know about it, I just had a hard time practicing it. Truth be told, I still do sometimes.

I'm one of those that likes to get things done. I like to work. I love to see a finished product.

I can be impatient at times ... okay often, but I mean no harm; I'm just a "doer".

I'm aggressive when sparring. I win more than I lose when I'm aggressive. I sit back I lose. It's true, my friends tell me this all the time.

Some also tell me that I'm a tad too impatient. Rats - that stuff again! Oh well, must be true eh?

Point is I've come to know a bit about myself through this karate stuff. First come the big movements, the stances, punches, kicks and blocks. Then the finer and more intricate material comes along. More to this than meets the eye! You bet. Lots of fun too!

I've met many good people over the years. Some move on and some have just gone. Funny how we remember just the good stuff about those. And it was good too; it was great. Never will forget them!

I've in the mirror too sometimes. It's a good thing ... looking at what others see.

Learning to be the best that you can be is a tall order. It's something that us karateka often take for granted. Yet we just go on and do it.

That's waht we're doing you know. All that "introspection stuff", you know, looking in the mirror? Fine-tuning the techniques, emotions, and the friendships.

Learning and sharing between karateka from our own back yard, from twelve hours drive ar across the country. That's what it's all about. That's what builds us up and can only help everyone.

I know that. You know that too ... you always did.

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