Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How good am I?

When I started karate I thought after orange belt that I knew a bit and was pretty good.


Then, a couple of years later I got my brown belt and knew everything my school taught.  And I thought I knew a lot and was pretty good - especially compared to the me of a few years ago.


Then, I also did some other martial arts and after a while in those I felt like I knew a bit more and was pretty good - much better than a brown belt who only did karate; what had I been thinking? After doing these other martial arts some more I felt that even though I knew more, I actually knew less than before.


Then, after a break I came back to karate; a different school, a different style, a different teacher.  And I felt that I knew a bit and would be pretty good.  And I was - for an orange belt.


After a while, I got my black belt and I felt that I knew a little bit, but didn't feel that I was pretty good. Now, almost a year and a half since then, I feel like I know a bit more, and that one day in the future I might be pretty good.  For now, "adequate most of the time" seems to better describe me.


When I started, the feeling of achievement and improving skill was what drove me on.  Now, it is the hunger for what I can now see is still out there, in the vast karate universe (and that's just within my home style).  The process of learning is now the motivating factor rather than attainment or achievement.  It is the 'known unknowns' and the unknown unknowns' that drive me to train, to think about and to remain in love with karate.


So now I think that I know a little bit, and will probably be pretty good - just give me another decade or two.

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