Setting the Olympic as a Target, change the Quality of Karate!

The Prophetic Declaration Of Fusajiro Takagi

It cannot be denied that Japanese karate instructors play a major role in spreading karate throughout the world. Presently, it is also true that many countries merely follow Japanese ways in respect to the technical improve-ment of karate. However, it is believed that karate will grow independently, in the style of each country and not as a martial art imported from Japan. It is also expected that various styles of this martial art will be seen when karate is adopted into the Olympics. The question that then arises concerns the way in which Japanese instructors should act overseas.

Mr. Fusajiro Takagi, the executive Director of the Japan Karatedo Federation (JKF) and the Secretary-General of the World Union of Karatedo Organization (WUKO), offers the following outspoken advice: 

The Development of Karate and Instructors in Various Countries:

I think that Japanese Instructors overseas tend to keep looking back to Japan, a tendency which is strongly displayed in their attitude. They also follow only the teachings of the school they were affiliated in Japan without attempting to learn from any other schools. However, how do foreigners think when instructors only emphasize their own school and insist that their own school or style is the best or strongest. This emphasis alone is insufficient to persuade foreigners and so instructors must learn how to explain the merits of their school or style in comparison to others. Such efforts will help bring about the worldwide development of karatedo.

Meanwhile , the grading (belting) system is also undergoing changes. Up to now, overseas practitioners received grades authorized by such and such schools in Japan, but many countries are now trying to have the issuing of their ranks independently by their own country. This is a good indication that the time has ended for people to think that karate should be tied to Japan.

Nowadays, an instructor cannot gather students by only being a Japanese. It is not suggested that Japanese culture be pushed with the teaching of karate. For ecample, it is nonsense to think that a dojo has to have a family altar. Is it not better to teach along with the customs and beliefs that is inherent of each country? I believe that Japanese teachers should teach in conjunction with the religion or doctrines of their foreign students. To achieve this, instructors should first fully place themselves into the situation that exists in each country. In other words, they should obtain citizenship to contribute to karatedo's development in rhat country. They must reach the level of "being able to defeat Japanese team and take the gold medal at the Olympic Games." Without such mission an instructor will become useless and will not prove advantageous to the country he is teaching. They must sacrifice and always think about what they can do for the country they are in.

To fully place themselves in the situation of that country means that they have to make a living and earn money there. The expression "making money" may give a bad impression; however, this should not bring about the feeling of being ashamed because it is only natural to earn money to live. I only hope that instructors will take responsible steps to improve the quality of their teachings. If there are two to three hundres students in one dojo, I cannot expect the dojo to produce satisfactory results. Instructors should not think about the expansion of the dojo in terms of quantity. Quality is the important thing. 

Instructors should require themselves to study further to improve their quality of instructions. If the quality of instruction improves, then the earning of more money by raising tuition fees is justified. It is moral and logical. What I want to say to Japanese instructors overseas, or any instructor for that matter, is that they should make money in a fair and honest way, contributing to the development of karatedo in their respective countries.

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