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Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture
Lesson to learn in both Karate and Life

Hi Guys,

Just want to share some thoughts regarding self-improvement and success and how the philosophy of Sensei Itosu can be applied to life as well as Karate.

"Karate cannot be quickly learned. Like a slow moving bull, it eventually travels a thousand leagues. If one trains diligently for one or two hours every day, then in three or four years one will see a change in physique. Those who train in this fashion will discover the deeper principles of karate" - Sensei Itosu 1908

I am sure most of us on here agree with Itosu's comment and teach and train according to this. What I would like to put forward is that that we can change the term "Karate" to anything we wish to succeed at, or improve in our life. 

A lot of us live very time demanding lives and as a result look for programs that offer "instant results". It is sadly not the case that these "quick fixes" really improve our lives or helps us succeed in the long term. Instead ,it is the principle of doing something everyday and creating good habits, that are major factors to whether success/improvement is accomplished. 

Whether you want to improve your karate or your diet (or fitness, finances, relationships etc..) the same principle Itosu described above will work. "Like a slow moving bull, it eventually travels a thousand leagues."

To summarise, here is a quote American Lawyer, Investor & Businessman Charlie Munger:

"Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts… slug it out one inch at a time, day by day. At the end of the day – if you live long enough – most people get what they deserve. "

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Great post! Thanks Leigh!

This old podcast is along similar lines:


The general idea being that what we do in the present instantaneously becomes “what we did in the past”. These past events create a momentum which will determine our future “fate”.

I’m a karate black belt because of the training I did in the many “present moments” which now constitute my past. That past means I have inevitably reached the point I’m at now. All that training had a momentum which created an inescapable future.

If we want a better future, the key is to make as many “present moments” as positive and productive as possible. Small acts in the “now” build to create the “momentum of past events” that determines our future; for better or for worse.

All the best,


TW Smith
TW Smith's picture

Hi Leigh,

Thank you for the post. It is the simple principles that awaken us when we sometimes go astray.  "Take My Time" is part of my daily maxim.  Your post serves as another reminder. :)