Master Kongling: my experience with Karate

Karate has been my first approach with martial arts (read Who is Master Kongling?).

Important – What follows should not be interpreted as a positive or negative assessment, neither on Karate (each dojo is different) nor on my master (who has passed away and who I deeply respect). The ones I intend to share are the lessons that (more or less directly) I have drawn from my (limited, only a few years) experience with this martial art. The sole purpose of this article is to inform our school practitioners about the origins of some of our principles, concepts, methods (etc.). I am a thousandth of the type of practitioner I would like to be and I have neither the right nor the interest to express the slightest judgment.

What I have learned from Karate

The physical aspects

The mental aspects

  • Martial arts win fear – The practice of martial arts eliminates a big part of childhood unmotivated fears and starts to build self-awareness
  • Immediately imposing the maximum discipline is wrong – The master did not admit the slightest distraction or error (his voice thundered like lightning and physical punishment was the order of the day, I don’t deny that the whole class was terrified by him); unfortunately, this has blocked the development of many students who were suffering from continuous stress and therefore expressed themselves below their potential (read also Discipline is the key to freedom)
  • The approach with meditation – At the beginning and at the end of each lesson, I had the occasion to come into contact with mental concentration and inner silence (start reading Meditation method 1)
  • The first thing to strengthen is the mind – If the mind is weak, even the body is weak. if you have fear, your opponent will “absorb” it converting it in self-awareness
  • Never bring the problems of everyday life into the training – The martial practice helps to free the mind from problems precisely because it is detached from them
  • The competition that is not directed towards ourselves is wrong – Often during the lesson, the competition was indirectly fomented but the result was almost always the humiliation of the little ones by the biggest bullies
  • Training is hard, motivation is fundamental – If you are not motivated enough, it becomes 10 times more tiring (start reading Workout music: how, when, why)

How much Karate has remained in 6 Dragons Kung Fu?

A lot of small things but the mental discipline (converted in self-discipline) and the precision of the didactical system are the most important aspects that have influenced the teaching method of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

Karate has taught me that taking care of all the details forms the quality of the whole; if the teaching is vague, imprecise, the student’s learning will be the same.

In a real self-defense context, there is a special space that divides the error from a legit personal interpretation of a technique and good martial teaching must help the student to always remain in the field of effectiveness.

Final notes

  • I do not want to hide that for a lot of years I underestimated the quality of the teaching I had received at an early age (every new martial art appeared to be the best one and Karate continues to sink, read also Master Kongling: facing the other martial arts); only after several years, far from the reasons that led me away from this discipline, I managed to trace a more reasonable overview
  • There are many aspects of Karate that I share and others that I do not agree with but I cannot deny that, in their context, each of them has a precise and reasonable meaning
  • Somehow Karate still continues to accompany me, in fact, many of my students have practiced it in the past, many of my training partners practice it and still, even from outside, I continue to study it

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  • Have you ever practiced Karate?

Author: Master Kongling

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