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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:43 pm 
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That is true from my experiences as well KYUechi, although I have had a couple natural athletes stick with Uechi. But whenever one of those gifted individuals came to class, I made sure that they left class feeling as though they weren't as good as they could be. And as they progressed, I had them help with others, less talented, which helped them develop as individuals. Many of these gifted individuals have their own dojo today and a few moderate these forums! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:38 pm 
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But whenever one of those gifted individuals came to class, I made sure that they left class feeling as though they weren't as good as they could be. And as they progressed, I had them help with others, less talented, which helped them develop as individuals.


Very wise, that is something to remember. Thanks George!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:12 pm 
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A bunch of thoughts.

1. I think there's an important distinction between those who stop training because they burn out (bad) and those who stop training because they've achieved their goals (good).

Case Study: Tony Blauer told me an interesting story about a student he had worked with years ago, who was training like a madman for months. The guy got very good, very quickly, did a couple of competitive kickboxing matches, which he won...

And then stopped. Not because he was burnt out, but because all he really wanted was to experience a couple of competitive matches. Once he had done that, he moved on to something else (cycling, I think).

While it's true that the study of a martial art CAN be a lifelong experience, I think it's important to also offer those students who don't want the lifetime experience an opportunity to reach whatever goals they're seeking.

2. I've seen the "hyper talented but can't stick with it" students as well. Hard work goes a lot further than talent. Talent plus hard work, and you get some of our competitive fight team.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:26 pm 
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All very good points, Jake and I agree.

This brings out another at times _thorny subject_ worth discussing:

The reason why we want to initially study and continue to study karate for years to come.

Many dojo senseis will ask a prospective student when he walks through the door:

> What is the reason why you want to study karate? <


Can we enumerate some of the many reasons people give…and do we or the people themselves actually believe their given reasons?

And how do the given reasons actually impact on their quality, intensity, and longevity of training?

If, non karate people were to ask a karate student "why do you take karate?"

What answer do you think _ will be mostly offered, and why? And what answer the karate student will offer most reluctantly?

And what answers do we usually get when questioning drop outs?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Van,

Good, and tough questions. I don't have a lot of experience with Karate per se, so others may be able to speak better to that. I've got a whole bunch of writing I've been working on w/r/t to this topic...I'd love to see other people's input.

That said, the average martial arts school advertises something like:
Competition
Discipline
Fitness
Fun
Health
Self-Defense
Meditation/Spiritual Enlightenment

Whether they really offer all of these things is something I'm quite skeptical about.

I would guess (and what I suspect you're driving at) that many students start out in Karate to learn to defend themselves (or say they do). Whether they ever get that is a big question, and I suspect that a reasonable percentage of those who leave do so because they feel their training has not really served them in that manner.

Of course, they can drop out for other reasons a well. Sometimes people's goals just honestly change. Life happens. Martial artists are a little odd in that we're one of the few branches of physical culture where we expect people to keep doing the same thing for their entire lives. When a kid stops playing baseball, or decides to take up Olympic weightlifting instead of powerlifting, no one is particularly shocked. When someone decides they don't want to do martial arts any more, we act like it's a big shock or oddity.

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