I’m in the process of making a very hard decision. Although it wasn’t the first style of karate I trained in, I loved Kyokushin from the moment I first stepped into that dojo in Cape Town. Now, several years on, I’m living in a town with no Kyokushin dojo and I’m training solo or, when I can, with a friend.
Obviously this is not ideal and I need to get back into a formal setting if I am going to progress in my training. Well, I’ve been searching far and wide and I have even seriously considered uprooting everything and moving to another town.
However, I’ve finally decided that, due to work commitments, a move is out of the question so I have to switch styles instead. I’ve done a lot of research and taken trial classes in several local dojo but nothing has felt right.
Every style of karate has it’s merits and drawbacks and we all train for our own reasons. There was nothing wrong, as such, with any of the dojo I’ve tried out so far. But my overwhelming feeling from the students was one of a lack of commitment and an unwillingness to be pushed to perform to the best of their ability.
Today I received a reply to an email I sent to a Sensei and, as crazy as it sounds, I have decided to try training under him on the strength of his email alone.
Although he has no problem with me training intermittently (work commitments again) he made it quite clear that I would need to work out on my own between sessions to maintain my fitness levels and that I would not be able to progress through the grades as fast as I would if I trained on a regular basis.
I may not have found the style I wanted but I hope I have found the Sensei. One who is going to expect commitment and 100% effort. I am away at work right now but I’m looking forward to my first session in two weeks time.
If this feels like the right place when I get there I will be switching to Shotokan. It’s a style that I have no experience of at all but I do know it is very different to Kyokushin and I will not only be starting again at the beginning, but I will also be ‘unlearning’ most of what I know.
It’s not that mind going back to being an absolute beginner, in fact that will be quite refreshing, it’s just that this feels somehow wrong. Almost like I’m betraying an old friend. Does that make sense or does it make me sound like some kind of nut case?
When it comes down to a choice between no karate or different karate different wins hands down. So why does this still feel so hard?