Yon ban no rigen

Hello, it is Ichiro Morioka again.  Today I wish to give you the fourth Shorei-Kan proverb: Do not criticize.

By this, we do not mean you must not correct error. How does one learn if one does not know when one makes an error? No, we mean do not disparage the efforts of a fellow student or underling merely because he or she is not performing to the level of the high standards you have set for yourself. Do not make a joke of another student when he or she misses a block or slips and falls while executing a kick. Each has different physical and mental abilities. Each is at a different stage of training.

A student may become so discouraged by criticism that he or she may cease practicing. When this happens, we are not following proverb number three, Help one another learn the techniques. In fact, we are accomplishing exactly the opposite.  One of the purposes of Shorei-kan is to help build confidence, and through that confidence gain a sense of peace and self-awareness. Criticism works against this.

Yes, there is a term, constructive criticism, and for those who are able to receive this without also receiving discouragement, it is merely a way of using helpful details to correct error. Many will desire to receive this from those accomplished in the art in order to advance their training. On the other hand, there are others who will see the two words as diametrically-opposed concepts, that is, if it is constructive, it cannot be criticism, and if it is criticism, there is nothing constructive about it.

Therefore, when you give correction, try to find a positive way to give it.  Give it in such a manner as to help the other karateka advance and gain confidence.

Now, a bonus saying from Master Chojun Miyagi: Do not be too proud of yourself.

Mata, ne?

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