It was a long time ago, but not that long, when I was skipping Karate training because of exams, stress and the pressure. I remember well how exhausted I was after spending hours upon hours sitting in for courses, travelling back home (over 1h) just to study some more.
I was lucky enough to have parents who understood that physical strength and fitness means mental strength and productivity. I was also lucky that they never forced me into sports. They knew exactly how to guide me so I don’t end up hating the very art that formed me.
I remember trying to convince my mum, showing how much I have to study and how many projects I was working on, but my case couldn’t stand. She knew better, that I will do more work and study easier if I had a break. You see, I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic, as a student and adult. So she would take time out of her evening to drive me to my Karate class. Not always, sometimes she would see there is a lot to do, but at lest twice a week, she would encourage me to train for 2 hours, if not more often.
The truth is the most difficult part was until I got there. Of course, my parents never ever pushed or forced me to go training. Instead, their strategy was “go 2 more times, if you don’t like it you don’t have to go anymore”. They got me with this every single time. Of course I liked it, it was and still is my life.
Anyway, back to exams. The reality is that coming back home after 3-4 hours (including travelling and Karate class) I was less stressed, less worries, felt less pressure, and I was more relaxed, calmer, more patient, focused and a lot more productive.
I think I was able to do in 2 hours after a Karate class what I’ d normally do in 3 hours or so. Just because I was more productive.
I guess when I moved to Oxted and realised there aren’t many options to learn the traditional art of Shotokan Karate, I saw it as my responsibility as a 3rd Dan Black Belt to bring the art to Oxted School students. So I did and I hope students will find in Karate what I found when I was their age.