My first memories of karate are of a young naive kid sweating all over a rough wooden surface in a Scout Hall. I would catch two buses and walk a kilometre to the dojo, I would never speak to the Instructor and he would never speak to me. The training was 2 hours long, the floor had no mats and sparring gear was non existent (we sparred bare knuckle and no mouthguard). This sounds all negative but I was truly inspired because it was an honour just to be accepted into a school.
After training I had to walk back up one of the steepest hills in the world (I reckon) and by then I had worked up such a thirst, I would reward myself with a soft drink from the drink machine which was located next to the bus stop in the middle of nowhere; must’ve been strategically put there for people climbing up that hill.
If you got injured you had to suck it up. If you wanted to complain you went to the bathroom and talk to yourself. Water and toilet breaks only when you were allowed to. You did as you were told and you had to follow the rules. All this, just to learn Karate. No matter how bad it was, there was always loyalty and respect with each other and the Instructor which is a diminishing thing today because the new generation have their own ideas and want to question everything. Questioning is a good thing but not to the point where it doesn’t get you anywhere and waste valuable time.
The way martial arts is today (which is far better) ie mats, drink machine, punching bags; now you can speak to the Instructor and they will speak to you and even shake hands however I believe what made us real warriors is something a young Instructor cannot convey to their students or relate to. History always plays a part in building the future.