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New Year's Resolutions

I do not know about you, but why is it each year that we decide that the time has come to make a change, with the coming of a new year? And if you do decide to do something new or different, how many people actually get around to doing whatever it is that they decide they were going to do in the first place?

Having a little think about it, I really struggled to think of anyone that I know who had committed to something new and actually got on and did it. And it may well be that joining a Karate club is one of those things that you intended to do, but guess what, it just somehow did not quite happen.

Now, I suspect that if you are reading this blog, then you did actually join the Karate club and that you have been training for many years, or maybe just a few weeks or months; either way, you actually did it and will have benefited from the many and varied benefits that good hard training bestows on those who make the effort.

Get down to the dojo and train as hard as you can, get a good solid sweat on and kick, punch and block all the bad things that life throws at all of us.

For me, training in Shotokan is my what I call physical confessional; what I mean by that is this: whatever stress has been delivered at my door, once I get changed into my gi and walk into that dojo, I know that in one hour thirty minutes later, I am going to feel 100% better mentally, physically and spiritually than I felt before I made that effort.

I have, in truth, never wasted a single minute of my training or indeed teaching Karate worrying about anything bad that has been happening. My focus is pure and simplly trying to do the kihon, kata or kumite to the best of my ability.

So, I hear you ask what has that got to do with a new year's resolution? Well, the answer for me is simple, my point is that every time that I enter the dojo, I am committed and resolved as much as the very first time that I walked into a dojo on a cold September in Sutton Coldfield Wado-ryu Karate club in 1975. It has never wavered; not once have I ever contemplated not training. In fact, having recently been snowed in for 4 days, I was chomping to get back into the dojo. If there is such a thing as being addicted to Karate, then count me in. I can think of a lot worse things.

The other thing to bear in mind is this: having lost my best friend, Sensei and Shihan last year, who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, none of us ever know what tomorrow brings. So live every day as though it might be your last (I am sure it won't, but never take life for granted; it can be cruel as well as kind).


Sensei Austin Birks

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