Training: Tigers and Sheep

Sometimes karate training can be called training as a tiger or training as a sheep. If you train as a tiger -- hard training and body conditioning -- you can always train with tigers. Other tigers will also recognize you and you can train in peace with them. They know that when two tigers really fight that one will die of injuries today and the other will die of injuries tomorrow. Both will die, so they have nothing to prove.

If you train like a sheep -- no contact and no two-man conditioning -- then you can only train with sheep. A tiger can train with tigers and he can also train with sheep. He just has to be careful not to hurt them. A sheep cannot train with tigers. Sheep see tigers as being very frightening and their conditioning, he says, will cause cancer. A sheep training with tigers will get eaten up.

Sometimes you see a sheep who sees the truth of tiger training and changes. In reality this sheep was actually a tiger in sheep's clothing waiting to come out.

Watch people training. Look at how they act and how they behave. A tiger can be like a little kitty but dangerous even though he is friendly. They are quiet and watch everything. They listen and watch. They know who they are and they have nothing to prove -- they are at peace.

Sheep, on the other hand, make all kinds of noises and demand to be heard. They run around and seem to crave attention. They are easily hurt and easily scared. They always group together for their own protection. When danger approaches they look towards the group for protection because they cannot defend themselves. They are easy prey for tigers -- whether it is one sheep or several, sheep are still sheep.

-- Ryuko Tomoyose, Uechi-ryu