Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Actual Karate dream

I woke up this morning from a Karate dream that has stayed with me, and I feel like it would be fun to share it with those who read my blog. I have many Karate dreams but usually they disappear as soon as I rise from my bed. This one, however, has stayed in my memory like as if I had watched a good movie.

My dream started with me dressed in my Gi/Black Belt and approaching a judging table at a Rank Test. Part of me was aware that the Sensei of this dojo was just starting out, and he had asked me to help decide if his students were at the level that they were testing for.. there was an orange belt teenager sitting at the table next to me who was given the task of assessing this group of 30 children white belts in front of us. In my dream, the Sensei had nodded to me, and walked off leaving me and the teenager in charge.

I stayed quiet, and allowed the orange belt to lead the test.. and for a dream span of time which seems long and short at the same time I watched the orange belt splutter, and stumble, and achieve nothing towards testing the white belts who stood still watching us, and waiting for instruction. He took a marker, and scratched out all of the requirements, and wrote down "not necessary" next to them. He finally just stood up, and walked away leaving the students looking shocked.

I stood up, and took over, commanding this group of white belts to go into stance, and started calling out basics for them to do.. but they didn't know any of them. They couldn't even respond to the call of "middle punch", but looked at me, and each other in confusion. It became very apparent to many of them that they didn't know what they needed in order to pass this test, and (as is the way of dreams) they suddenly disappeared until only a dozen of the testing students remained. These ones insisted that I HAD to pass them because they were testing, and therefore they deserved the next rank. I shock my head, and maintained that they need to know how to do something, and show that knowledge in order to earn the recognition. I said in a gentle way that there would be another test in three months, and that after learning what they need to know, I would be happy to test them. All of the remaining students left except for one. He chased me around as I was cleaning up the dojo of rolls of duct tape, MMA posters, rolls of toilet paper, electric toasters, and licorice. ( What strange and weird items that my dream felt was necessary for Karate testing!)

This one white belt boy followed me around grabbing the rolls of tape, and demanding that I pass him because he was helping me to clean up the dojo. I kept explaining that I appreciate his help, and that it is a good sign of responsibility, but that I cannot in good conscience call him a karate ka because he knows how to clean up, he still hasn't shown me the inner formation of Karate knowledge. There were 5 boys standing in the dark by the doorway watching our interaction. This persistent boy didn't give up, but his attitude was prideful, and challenging. He wasn't going to take "no" from me, but he was going to make me pass him just because he thought that I should. Finally, after the strange lapse time of dreams, I showed forth authority, and spoke strongly, and clearly to the boy stating that without the ability to show me respect, and to perform basics as is the level for which he is testing, he will not receive a higher rank from me, and that he can feel free to leave the dojo now.

The five boys standing in the shadow of the doorway visibly looked even more defeated by how I handled that moment. Yet, one of them detached, and approached me as I continued to clean up those rolls of tape..( In my dream it must have taken over 8 dozen boxes of duct tape in order to test a group of students.) This boy was already out of his gi, and dressed in normal clothes. He came up to me, and humility was in his face, and eyes. He asked me if there was anything that he could do in order to improve his chance of passing this week. He explained that he was confused by the terms that I was calling, but that he thinks that he knows what it is that I am asking of him in the test, and would it be possible that I might reconsider my position as his next term in school depends on how well he passes this belt rank test. The other four boys were approaching us timidly watching how I was listening intently to this one.

I recognized courage, self-control, humility, passion for the arts, and a good core in this student. Time in my dream stood still as I looked into his face, and eyes, and saw a willingness to learn, and apply himself etched there.

I stood up, and said to the boy "Show me what you know.."

"Now Sensei" he asked in surprise "Like this.. I'm not ready.." but he stopped his words in mid expression as he saw that I meant 'right now.. as is.."

He went into fudo dachi, and haltingly put forth his basic requirements.. the other boys in the back followed his guide.

I smiled, and said "Yes.. this is Karate. It isn't just knowing how to do the requirements, or giving up when the challenges appear, but it is having the heart of courage, willingness, and deep inner hope to do one's best when asked. You have earned your rank, and you have also motivated others through your example to achieve theirs. Congratulations.. you 5 boys have passed your test."

I woke up from my dream with the echoes of joy, and the image of the 5 boys jumping up and down in joy, and sending high fives to each other.


Colin Wee said...

Seems like you are having a dream about yourself, Mir! :-)

Come join my Anti-bully Blogging Carnival

supergroup7 said...

Thanks Colin

I've always told my children that dreams are not really worth much as they seem to be the brain just clearing itself out during the night, but this dream just seemed to have a little more "spice" to it than usual.

I know that I've been contemplating the whole "rank and recognition" aspect of Martial Arts for the past 3 years, and trying to understand it better, perhaps this dream was seeking to expose an answer to me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Supergroup7

How can I cantact you? Do you allow guest posts?

And would you do one for my site?


Mir said...

Hello Karateemptyhand, Welcome to my blog..

You can contact me at my email address:

Yes, I allow guest posts.

I'd be happy to write something for your site. You have a very sophisticated looking website. Please be aware that I train in Kyokushin Karate, and not Shotokan, and therefore I may have different perspectives on certain topics.