“Karate should be FUN”

Browsing through Facebook I have come across this quote, “Karate should be FUN”, by Jesse Enkamp.

I don’t agree with this statement, I believe that Karate should not be “fun”.  Let’s start by looking at the definition of fun.  Fun can be said to be:

  • Enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure.
  • Playfulness or good humour.
  • Behaviour or an activity that is intended purely for amusement and should not be interpreted as having any serious or malicious purpose.

In my opinion karate should be hard work with a focussed mind, with the practitioners focus being on one thing – training.  Karate can be rewarding and enjoyable but after training.  During the session you are committed to pay attention, to be focussed and work hard.

When we have fun our mind is not focussed, it wonders in enjoyment and pleasure therefore it cannot execute techniques with concentration. Performance decreases, awareness drops and people become relaxed and careless, which can lead to injuries or bad technique.

I have never heard a committed athlete who has achieved success say how fun their training sessions are.  Instead they say that all of their hard work has paid off.

When people look at martial arts as a way to just have fun their achievement levels are not likely to be high as they lack focus and the drive to work hard.

As a result you can see videos like these (please see link below).  There is nothing wrong with a bit of fun but please don’t call it a martial art.

 

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One thought on ““Karate should be FUN”

  1. I agree that there should be nothing whatsoever frivolous or amusing about martial practice. It is not table tennis or Monopoly. That said, we train very hard at my club, and you will often hear us joking here and there, encouraging or pulling each other along with some good-natured teasing, especially during our grueling physical training sessions where the relief of laughter prevents tears (but never during sparring when 100% seriousness is mandatory). People should be genuine in what they feel, and those feelings should find positive expression in the art. When it hurts, when you spit blood, when you are overwhelmed, what bubbles up from within should be channeled not suppressed or made into falsehood. A free and happy man labors joyfully all day; a prisoner suffers at the same work.

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