The new 21st century generation of Karateka have become a little selfish – almost to the point of entitlement IMHO. With that sort of attitude comes laziness, complacence and whinging. This poor attitude is not entirely the fault of students because they are inundated by mass media blitzkriegs of “Kurodee” masters who tell them that training requires nothing more than “hitting a vital point”, doing some calisthenics, buying a book or DVD, or subscribing to some cultish rituals. It’s a sad state of affairs, but one that could easily be rectified if students ask one simple question, “Why do I train?”
Unfortunately, no one can answer that question but you. It means that you will have to take responsibility, sit down, take a hard, unflinching look at your motivations and decide what the reasons you go to the dojo are. Is it about health, personal insight, self-defense, self-esteem, culture, language, friendship, passion, a sense of family, control, power, being a bully? What are they? Do they add value to your life and if so, does that carry over into other parts of your life outside of the dojo? You decide, but know why you are training and know if those are the right reasons. In other words, know your purpose.
Training should never become a chore; something you don’t look forward to. There should never be excuses. You will know that you are training for the right reasons when you feel a joy and enthusiasm about practice. When you feel a deep sense of satisfaction about your efforts, and when you realize that there is still much for you to learn – “Do wa mugen” (道は無限) the road has no end.