What are you thinking when karate-do word comes into your mind? A man wears a white suit and black belt? Japan? Ninja Turtle? Or maybe a “ Wachaaaaa!!!!” phrase. Maybe some of you are familiar with karate-do while some of you are not. It depends on the individual’s experiences to interpret the meaning of the word itself. Well, for me karate-do is something that used to be a part of my life. Thinking again, it’s been 3 years already I quit from this martial art and how I miss it so much.
The memory of five years ago is still fresh inside my mind. On that day, my friends boasted about karate performance that was made by Malaysian athletes in our institute’s hall. At that time, they were recruiting members for karate club and my friends asked if anyone interested in joining it. At first, I just ignored them since I was not interested in anything that involved physical activities. For me I was hopeless in anything that related to sports since I was quite chubby (or maybe I rather called it as fat) and doing those things only made me looked stupid in front of others. Therefore, I told myself like this;
‘ Meddy, look at yourself first and think carefully. Do you still want to join with this kind of physical? ’
With this kind of thinking, I managed to ignore the desire to ask them about karate-do and joined the club.
However, I lost to the words of persuasion. My friend managed to persuade me to join it with beautiful promises about it. Even now, I could hear the words that she said to me.
“ Meddy…join it! You can lose your weight when you join it!”
That’s it! Hearing this words I immediately took the form and signed it. Now, remembering it again makes me think how gullible I was at that time, easily fall into promises. Starting on that day, I became a karateka and the journey of my life began here.
From the time when I joined karate-do, my life become much more colourful compared to the previous one. Although some of you might think that joining a martial art will only make you feel tired and waste your time, but it is the other way. Karate-do gives you many benefits that you could not even think of about it. First, you are able to learn how to protect and defence yourself from the danger. In spite of expanding your social networks, you are able to tie bond between different races such as Chinese and India. I’ve got a karateka friend who is a mix between an African-Arab and Malay. I thought he would only talk in English, however when he talked in Malay with Penang accent, I could not stop laughing because it looked kinda funny when a foreigner talk Malay with Penang accent. In addition, karate-do is good for your health. The physical activities could help you burn out all your fats.
Since I joined karate-do, many fun and interesting activities had been done and I really enjoyed it so much. I still remembered that we have a one day ice breaking activities among all karate-do members where at that time, we have many activities with other karatekas who were coming from different age group ( we are the oldest) and different places. Besides, we always went to dojo ( karate-do place ) and did our outdoor activity.
But the most unforgettable memory was Karate camp which was held on December 2004. That camp was held in Tanjung Bungah in Penang. The 5 days and 4 nights camps really gave you a lot of fun and interesting places. We were not only able to learn kata ( steps of karate-do) which is only for higher black belt, but also knew people coming from other countries such as Singapore, and Iran. But the most unforgettable moment was the time we spent doing the activities at the beach with other karatekas with Malaysian karate athletes. It was so fun even I could not forget until now.
However, being a karate member was not easy. I saw many people joined it half way and give up from it when they could not stand with the physical activities during the karate training. From sit up to running around the gymnasium and even jumping in the air, the training was like a hell to us. Our clothes were drenched with our sweat and some boys managed to squeeze it from their clothes. Can you imagine how great the karate training is? The one and half-hour training was able to make our muscles pained and tired on the next day. When everyone saw all karate members walking like an old people, they already knew that we had gone another hell training the night before and just smiled when looking at us.
If anyone asked me why I did not quit the karate-do during that time, I did not know how to answer it. Honestly, never once the word quit ever left my head from the first day I joined the club until the end. Every time I went through all the training, I was thinking of quitting the club because of many reasons. The feeling of incompetent physically comparing to my friends was the main reason why I wanted to quit from it. Seeing your other friends able to do thing that you could not do make me feel so sad. In addition, all of them were improving and became advance in front of me, whereas I was stuck at the back with no improvement. The desire to get out from the club became stronger and stronger. However, I could not say my intention to quit from the club to my sensei (karate’s instructor) and to all my friends. Searching a good way in telling them so that nobody would get hurt, I did not realise that two years has past. Even though the intention to quit was still inside me, but the desire become less and less from day to day. That time I did not realize how I was improving a lot physically and mentally.
Throughout these 3 years, I reflected back what I have gone through during the time I joined karate club. Surprisingly, I did not realise how I improve a lot in my karate and become better in physical activities. I could even split my legs into two and sit on it comfortably. Remembering those memories could not stop me from smiling right now. But the most valuable thing that I ever got from karate training is confidence that I have within me now. Before this, I did not have confidence in anything including in my studies. I preferred to be in the dark rather than going in front of speaking aloud about what I thought and what I wanted. Now, I become someone else. I gain my confidence and I’m not afraid anymore.
Karate-do taught me that if you do not have confidence within yourself, do not ever think about protecting yourself from the danger. In fact, the main reasons of you become strong are the confidence and belief on yourself as well as the strong will that you have within your heart. From this I learned that how important for me to be confidence and be strong within myself so that I would be able to face any obstacles in the future.
As the time pass by, life became busier than before. A lot of commitments and time constraint made me quit from karate-do. Thinking again, I am at loss when I quit the club. But, there are certain things in our life that we have to leave it even though we love it so much. Although I quitted from the club, but I still love karate-do. Until now, I practised the principles that I learned from the training. For me karate-do will never die and be in my heart forever.