Keiko or Kanko?

Karate tourist, dojo, Vancouver, bc, lessons, kobudo, Uechi-ryu, Goju-ryu, Shotokan

If you thought the title of this short post refers to the names of two Japanese women, then you’re mistaken. No, its about Karateka and Kobudoka who travel to Japan or Okinawa and think they’re training (keiko – 稽古) , but are actually Karatedo or Kobudo tourists (kankokyaku – 観光客).

IMHO, if you’re using a company or service to arrange your travel, accommodations, and training, then you’re doing kanko (sightseeing), not keiko (training). I find this behaviour strange because Okinawa Budo is about discipline (shugyo – 修業 / 修行); where practice is focused on taking you out of your comfort zone mentally, physically, emotionally / spiritually.

Sure you might think traveling to a foreign country qualifies as that, but it doesn’t. It certainly isn’t the case when you’re one participant in herd of sheep…oh sorry “other Budoka” watching from the back of the Budokan, sipping on your bottled water, and listening to the interpreter. However, if that’s what you’re satisfied with, who am I to say anything. But I will respectfully say that you’ve lost 99% of what your training is all about. And if you don’t know what the underlying reasons for training are in Okinawa Budo, then you are truly lost.