A Stream Of Consciousness For Consideration By A Concerned Karate-Ka : Part 1

The purpose of today’s post to to re-examine the need and function of a ‘governing body’ and if so why. The reader is welcome to accept or discard any or all of it.
It is my contention that we do need a single governing body for the various reasons :
  1. Karate is widely misunderstood (and sadly, often misrepresented) and there should be one point of reference that interested parties and members of the public can approach for information, advice and assistance.
  2. Karate practice encompasses a plethora of ethical and technical ideals. Disparate umbrella groups and self-styled governing bodies mislead and allow confusion.
  3. A central single body can set, and monitor standards (technical, ethical, financial, etc.)
There are some who advocates the idea of two bodies, one to manage sport karate and one to cater to the so-called “traditional” karate. I believe this inappropriate as many practitioners embrace both side of the discipline, and a great many respected karate-ka who consider themselves ‘traditional’ also support sport, and vice versa. By splitting the two, we risk potentially dividing the overall karate community. Even the sport of karate as endorsed by the major bodies (WKF , WUKO) embraces budo values.
It is important to consider the role of the National Sports Council in these plans. In my opinion it can be very simple : Unify, or no funds. At the moment there are too many karate associations left out of the loop due to many reasons. There is of course the possibility of forging ahead with independent commercial funding. This has to be considered withing the wider context of sport/education/social policy generally. Whilst it is perfectly feasible to imagine a financially self-supported body, the implications of running independently of the Government Agency responsible for what might be loosely termed ‘physical education‘ are not, IMHO, viable.
A governing body needs to :
  • Establish and maintain standards
  • inform and educate (members and outside parties)
  • Lobby outside bodies for support
  • Represent it’s members’ disparate needs
  • Deliver services for its members
  • Act as a disciplining/controlling force to control non-aligned or non-compliant bodies

All the above must be fulfilled in an environment of transparency and propriety. Due proses means that there will be accountability and scrutiny. There is no point in trying to run even a benign dictatorship or patriarchal democracy. One definition of democracy is that the leaders can be rid of. Thomas Paine, two centuries ago, warned that a democratic government must ensure that the will of the people is represented. That means constant reference back to the electorate (overall karate community). This has not been the case with MAKAF. I propose a trimmed down governing body with a lean, effective management that will include ALL the karate-ka in Malaysia in one body.

Read PART 2


4 responses to “A Stream Of Consciousness For Consideration By A Concerned Karate-Ka : Part 1

  1. Pingback: A Stream Of Consciousness For Consideration By A Concerned Karate-Ka : Part 2 « Seiken Martial Arts Academy

  2. Pingback: A Stream Of Consciousness For Consideration By A Concerned Karate-Ka : Part 3 « Seiken Martial Arts Academy

  3. Oss,

    Let me quote one of the Grandmaster Chew Choo Soot saying.

    The frog in the well does not know the imensity of the sky. Hopes your article could change the mindset of those saying that they are the Chief instructors of REAL Karate and also who dictate us to set up a karate association in Malaysia

    Best regards,
    Pak Wan

  4. Ossu Pak Wan,

    Thank you for your support. We all strive to improve, or else do we have a claim to be a member of the human race? I think all karate-ka should chip away the burden of excessive protocol and get down to what matters, the return to the spirit of budo and karate, and master their nature and understand their minds and the universe through direct experience — as well as through fostering strength, self-control and wisdom, based on the seven essential principles on which budo is based on:

    1. Seigi : The right decision and rectitude
    2. Yuki : Bravery and heroism
    3. Jin : Compassion and benevolence to all
    4. Reigi : Courtesy and right action
    5. Makoto : Truthfulness and utter sincerity
    6. Meiyo : Honor and glory
    7. Chugi : Devotion and loyalty

    Martial spirit and courage were, of course, essential aspects of Budo. But for the budo-ka, the highest goal was complete virtue in thought and action, harmonize mind with body, enabling them to maintain a certain calmness, or heijoshin (literally, “ordinary everyday mind”), even in the face of hardship. Sincerity, kindness, honesty, filial piety and honor all formed part of the core of Budo. And they were the seed from which the karate tradition grew. These attributes, and the wisdom, understanding and peaceful strength they promote, are some of karate’s greatest benefits.

    And we will do well to remember that every time we say OSSU! in training, we are saying to ourselves first and foremost “I am ready to learn!” (one version of the origin of Ossu is that it is the short form of Onegaishimsu : I am ready to learn).

    Azlimmi Himzal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s