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I was teaching kids the other day and one of them exclaimed, “No fair!”

Ah…….the naivety of youth. Life, in general, is never fair. And it is sad that the boy who exclaimed this will come to this realization someday.

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Even in karate, life is never fair.

  • Some people take to karate like a duck to water, picking up new techniques as if they were born to fight. While others struggle to differentiate left and right.
  • Some are tall and lanky, while others are short and stout
  • Some fight really well in practice but freeze during actual tournaments
  • Some fight really well but are always paired up with top seeders in the first round and always get the worst draw imaginable (c’est moi!)
  • I have a student who eats like there’s no tomorrow and stays leans and lanky while a tubby one who chews on carrots continues to be tubby
  • The list goes on and on

Point is, we are all handed different sets of cards in birth. Some cards just suck outright and make you think that the universe is just taking you for a fool. Some cards are just straight flushes with no effort at all. What would you do?

We see a strong champion standing on pedestals, grasping trophies and we envy them. He’s strong, we say, there’s no doubt he’d win.

We see a short and fat champion standing on pedestal. He’s lucky, we say, his opponent was injured, we reasoned.

All we see are the end results. We did not see the sweat, tears and blood in the making of the champion. Luck can only carry a person so far. It is easier to blame our inadequacies & failures on circumstance and outside factors instead of looking within. Because self reflection often awakens us to the brutal truth that we do not want to see. Because learning to improve is hard work and it is easier to just give up.

However the karateka who does not do so but instead says screw it, I’m going to train until I’m blue in the face to even the odds and then we are on a level playing field.
A short stubby guy who cannot perform high kicks, tries everyday and by sheer power of repetition, slowly gains kicking height, while amassing strength and basically plain stubbornness.
A tall lanky guy who can perform high kicks on his 1st attempt, because nature gave him long legs.

Whom do you fear?

A person who perform one technique 1000 times
OR
A person who perform 1000 techniques 1 time

Life is never fair. Now go do something about it.