Dojo:   Amityville   Yin yang dojo b   Mt. Kisco

Inspiration of a Novice

by Alyson Visgauss

My introduction to karate began as early as memories began to form of my life. As a little girl I was drawn to this beautiful thing I had no understanding of. Whether it was following my father outside barefoot in the snow to punch the makewara, out back of our house in the mountains of Vernon Valley New Jersey; or standing on top of a park table, in kibadachi stance, trying to copy his punching technique; I was clearly fascinated by this thing he did. For him it was as natural as breathing and so to me I saw it as the same, though I would find out later it was something very foreign to most others who caught a glimpse of this. I felt a calmness and sensed a focus in him that I craved and admired.

Karate is more than just something you do; it is to become something as it becomes a part of you. It is a way of life and a way of thinking and being, respect. Not in the sense that you are tougher than another but respect for your craft, for your teachers, your sensei, for your fellow students, and for yourself. It is to learn discipline and patience and gain humility to learn this craft called karate. Karate teaches you to be a better person; for what you learn in the dojo you carry with you in all walks of life; understanding the respect and balance necessary to obtain a peaceful mind, and maintain a positive and productive existence in society. Training karate helps you to push yourself, testing your boundaries, mentally, spiritually, and physically; to challenge yourself and overcome obstacles. Karate not only helps maintain your health in all areas of your being but brings you into a culture, a family, brings you into becoming a part of something larger than yourself. You gain a sense of belonging, for no matter your gaps in periods of training; the dojo is always there for you. You are always welcome to come back no matter how long it’s been due to be it injury, distance, or personal situation. Walking onto the dojo floor ready to train will, for me, always bring a sense of being home. Karate is full of technique, combining a delicate balance of skillful grace and powerful strength with which in learning will bring you confidence, humbleness, and peace that brings an overall well being to your life.