Kyokushin-Kan Philosophical — 10 July 2013

Kancho Hatsuo Royama, Kyokushin-kan’s chariman, and Shihan Hennie Bosman, of South Africa. Here seen in Capetown c. 2008.


“Oh but real Karate training begins at 50,” Kancho Royama said.

It was in Capetown, South Africa, and Shihan Hennie Bosman was celebrating his 50th birthday. “It’s depressing,” he said with a smile, “because I know it’s all downhill from here. I know that my karate will just get weaker.”

Kancho was quick to correct him. “Not true,” he said. “When we’re young, and we have full use of our physical faculties, we make the mistake of relying on them. In a sense, real Karate training doesn’t even begin until the age of 50. Real karate training incorporates the physical, the spiritual, and the mental. Real karate training incorporates an understanding of Chi.”

“Yet, when we’re young,” Kancho continued, “we take our physical ability so much for granted that it’s hard to for us to even be aware of those other forces. You should not worry! Your training is just beginning! The physical side might diminish, but concentrate on health, the spiritual side, and Chi. You might not be able to train like you did when you were 30, but you’re not meant to. You can be far stronger beyond 50 than you ever were when you were 30.”

This moment was a very inspirational one for me (your author, Nathan Ligo.) I was only 37 at the time, and I felt like I had all the time in the world. Now I’m 42, and still, I feel that way. I am learning so many new things, and training very hard. Age should not stop your karate training, I think, it might change it, but karate training is forever, of course. I feel so thankful to have had this role model in Kancho Royama, and in Shihan Hennie Bosman.




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