Friday, February 24, 2006
Using Japanese, Korean, or Chinese terminology
I've been thinking about how martial art students are asked to train, and learn all the difficult stances, kicks, strikes, and patterns, and in addition to this, (in some dojo) they are asked to know all of these things in both their native language, AND in Japanese (Korean, Chinese, etc. depending on their art). Of course, I had to ask myself if I thought that it was a worthwhile effort to learn everything in Japanese. I like to be in agreement with what I've been asked to do. There are alot of reasons why people have learned the Eastern terminology. One reason is that it is good to be familiar with the words in case you wish to compete or train internationally. I can see the value in that.. even if each country will have a different accent to the term Tsuki.. there is a chance that there would be interactive communication when placed together. Personally, I do not ever assume that I will be at such a high level that I'd be interacting internationally with other karate-ka... other than on the internet. Another reason is that it continues the tradition from the country that originated the martial art. (similar to how latin, and Greek terms are used in music, or French is used in Ballet) I like this idea, but it doesn't motivate me to put forth the effort to learn all the complex terms. For me, learning Japanese is a way to train my mind. I have to find a way to learn, and remember those words, what they represent, and when/how to use them. As a mom, I rarely get academic stimulation. It has been shown that one has to use their memory, and mind to keep it young and active. "As we learn new skills and concepts, the brain sparks development of synaptic connections--the electrical /chemical circuits that link neurons, the brain cells. Each cell in the brain can potentially be connected to thousands of others. The more connections, the more dense the brain, and the greater the intellectual capacity. For most of us, the brain is thoroughly stimulated well into our 50s thanks to jobs, continuing education, relationships, child raising and so forth. But people who become less mentally active as they grow older often don't receive--or seek-the stimulation needed to continue forming synapses. Karlene Ball, a psychology professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, worked as a lead researcher in a major federally funded study of people aged 64-96. The study proved beyond a doubt that the cognitive functions of the elderly can be enhanced through demanding activities that forced them to reason and react quickly. Better news still: A follow-up 5 years later showed thai participants retained their cognitive abilities--even though they hadn't performed any practice exercises." http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKA/is_1_66/ai_111572861 Training in Karate is the elixer of youth for the mind of a person, we are constantly challenged to learn, react, and learn more! Adding the study, and memorizing of kata, history of the art, and it's founder, and learning Japanese/Korean/Chinese terms enhances the mental training offered to us to help us keep sharp, and focused.