The Japanese phrase “Jiko Sekinin” basically translates as personal responsibility. Maybe it is just me, but it seems that our modern society is drifting further and further away from accepting responsibility for our own actions and the consequences of those actions. These days’ people sue McDonald’s because they got fat eating their food or got burned because they spilled hot coffee in their lap. Give me a break!
Maybe that is why I like teaching karate. Although each instructor takes on the duty to be the best teacher, he/she can be, it is understood that the responsibility for growth is totally up to the student. Student development is almost wholly dependent on the effort the individual puts forth. If one trains hard and shows great effort in training, one will eventually become very good at what he does.
Early on the student learns that complaining about making contact with a fellow student during sparring because “he ran into it” just doesn’t stand, I mean, after all, who is in charge of your hands and feet. Likewise, when a complaint is issued about getting hit in the face, which is definitely against the rules, it soon becomes crystal clear there is only one person that is totally responsible for blocking attacks to the face, and that is you.
It is too easy today to blame others or situations for not succeeding in life’s little challenges. The mark of the true warrior is to take personal responsibility for his future and to become disciplined enough to make it happen. When a loss is experienced, a winner immediately decides what he has learned from the experience and implements this knowledge in future tactics.
Each of us needs to take full responsibility for our actions, and the consequences of these actions. Once a person realizes that he is in charge, and takes full responsibility for his actions, life becomes a predictable roadmap for the future.
Understanding this, I hope everyone takes the opportunity to come and train at any of the seminars that are still out there and especially makes the effort to attend the online classes that I and many other instructors are offering. I think the value that you receive for the time, money and energy invested is well worth the effort. If not, don’t expect a lot of sympathy when we hear the words, “well I was going to come but…”
Wishing you well on the path to “martial arts mastery.”