Discipline - Your edge for success in work and karate

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2018 by Venn Group2 comments

As part of my ongoing preparation for the KSI World Championships (July 2018), I recently attended the KSI World Chief Instructors Course (WCIC) which was this year held in Dudley. The WCIC is an annual event where people travel from all around the world to be taught by the four KSI World Chief Instructors (all 9th Dan) and train with other karateka over several gruelling yet extremely rewarding hours in the dojo (“place of training”).

I learnt a lot on the course that will prove extremely valuable for my karate training and competitions moving forward, however, there was one statement in particular made by Shihan Chris Thompson (South Africa) that really stuck with me:

“We are not normal people […] normal people don’t want to be this disciplined”

This statement has made me think about the idea of discipline over the past few weeks; what effects can a strong discipline have not only within karate but within the workplace, and what obstacles stop us from achieving this?

What effects can a strong discipline have?

Karate requires a great deal of both discipline and self-discipline. Discipline within the dojo is essential; to be a good karateka you must be able to learn, to concentrate and to respect tradition. However, what really gets the best results (especially in a competitive sense) is the ability to also maintain a strong self-discipline; to attend every lesson without fail, to train karate outside of the dojo, to physically push yourself to the limits in every training session and every single fight without being “forced” to do so. These things can ultimately make the difference between winning and losing, between achieving the next grade or not achieving the next grade, between karate being a lifetime hobby as opposed to a mere “flash in the pan”. 

In work, we must be disciplined by obeying rules and regulations, by complying to laws, by working our contracted hours and taking only allocated holidays. However, self-discipline is demonstrated by working that extra half an hour in the evening, being the first in the office in the morning, hitting targets consistently or searching for a job for the fifth time to find that “ideal candidate”. As most managers will tell you, in recruitment, it is often these people who place the most jobs, who build the best long-term relationships, who beat the competition to gain new and/or exclusive business and who ultimately become the most successful.

Why can it be so hard to achieve discipline?

Discipline, however, can be very difficult to achieve; no matter how hard we say we are going to “go that extra mile” it isn’t always straightforward. Like Shihan Chris said “normal people don’t want to be [this] disciplined”. Discipline can be affected in several ways; distractions from those around us, trying to achieve too much in one go, a lack of ambition or trying to reach unachievable targets in unrealistic timescales. Whatever the obstacle, the way to overcoming it is to take things one step at a time, as although we can be taught discipline a lot of it will ultimately come from within ourselves – it is a lifestyle choice/ a way of being – and that doesn’t happen overnight.

What’s next for me?

Whilst hopefully maintaining a great deal of discipline(!)…the next two months will see an increase in training. Up next is the SKF Kent Karate Club Open Championships this Saturday 12th May where I will be representing SKF Portway Karate Club. Stay tuned over the next 9 weeks for match reports and training updates as well as a glimpse into “A week in the life of Sophie Powell” during this very busy period!

Sophie Powell- Senior Consultant, Public Sector Finance 

Thanks once again to Venn Group for sponsoring me and to my instructors, coaches and teammates at SKF Portway Karate Club and SKF England for their continued dedication and support.

For more information on Kimura Shukokai International, please visit: http://www.kimura-shukokai.com/welcome/4534678111 


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2 comments on "Discipline - Your edge for success in work and karate"

  • Katie Simpson says: 10 May 2018 at 21:50

    Excellent article! Good luck Sophie 👍🏻

  • Steve Fearnley says: 13 May 2018 at 03:42

    Well written Sophie.
    I also took a great deal away from the WCIC.
    Was great to see you again
    See you and all of team England in Sweden