We often talk about how important not giving up is. In class I'm often telling you, "Don't stop! Don't give up!", and I've talked about that in these mediation talks a few times. Kaicho has said, "Through [the] study of karate students can develop a non-quitting spirit...You say, 'This is a way I can grow. This [is a] way that I can enrich myself.' Then with positive attitude, [you] can face problems, can face obstacles. You can kind of fight back. You develop an attitude as how to carry on and live life."
That non-quitting idea is very important. But it's also important to understand that we have the choice to do something else, that just because we start to do something doesn't mean we have to keep doing it forever! That's failing to learn.
Say, for example, I was building a house. And when I start digging the foundation I discover that the ground isn't as solid as I thought. Do I say, "No quitting! Build that house!", and then have it fall down? Bad idea! I should stop, and figure out what to do instead, build somewhere else, or maybe I should put up a treehouse or a yurt or something.
Or maybe you go off to college. And you pick a major, and you do it for a year or two...and then you figure out that you don't really like that field. This happened to a friend of mine, he started out as an aerospace engineering major and ended up an art major. He didn't quit, he changed his mind, and it worked out well for him.
So, obviously I want you to stay and study Seido Karate. I've been doing that for almost thirty years, two-thirds of my life, and I plan to keep doing it for a long time. But, especially young students, you are allowed to do something else.
Because that's an important lesson you should be learning in karate. In sparring, if you keep getting hit, what's the answer? Do something else. Don't get stuck.
But that "something else" has to be something at least as good or better. If you keep getting hit in sparring, do something else -- but that something else probably shouldn't be to sit down on the floor and give up.
Most people don't keep doing karate their whole lives. Most never even get to black belt. So I know that someday you might want to do something other than Seido Karate -- and that's ok. I won't hate you if you go do something else! But you have to do something as least as good. Not just go home and sit in front of the TV all night. Ok?