You Will Sweat

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I live in Florida. It is a big state. It can take 12 hours or so to drive from Key West
to Pensacola. Specifically, I live in southwest Florida, right near the Gulf of Mexico. It is
considered to be sub-tropical. That means it is hot and humid.
If Mr. Carrier had not invented air conditioning this place would still be largely
uninhabitable for most people. I run a karate school in SWFL. Karate is known as a
physical art.
You will sweat.
I have Mr. Carrier s inventions on my roof. They cost me hundreds of dollars to
run each month. Those machines keep the late-day temperatures in the studio down to 72-
75 degrees when a class is running. That class might have a dozen or so adults, or 25-30
kids. That s a lot of body heat. Not to mention the parents sitting and watching, or all my
hot air. Even so, I still get some mothers who wrap their arms around themselves or bring
a light jacket because “it s cold in here”.
You will sweat. But does that stop people from complaining? Nahh. “It s hot in
here”. “Is the air on?” And the ever popular “I m sweating”. My assistant instructors and
I marvel at this.
I have a student named Tilor who is from an island in the Caribbean. He took
karate there, no A/C. They didn t even have a building, they trained in a tent.
We even issue the lightest uniforms for the intro course because we know it gets
warm. In the summer we let them wear T-shirts instead of gi tops. It s a look I don t
particularly care for but I realize it s practical. We should probably wear T s all year
around but like I said, I don t like the look. It s a whole other story.
What I m getting at here is that this art we do does not come without “sweat
equity”. Ed Parker said “Conditioning and guts take over where knowledge and skill
end.” With there being more overweight people than ever in the US and weight-loss
commercials on every channel, you would think that people in a karate class would not
complain. Yet, they do. I have even read that there are instructors out there who chastise
their class leads for making people sweat.
This is not boot camp. It was years ago, back when we needed this for survival.
Today most people do it as a hobby. I guess they think that since it s a hobby, they
shouldn t sweat. Rollerblading is a hobby- that makes you sweat. This is a life skill, a
worthy pursuit. It is worth every drop of sweat you put in. Stop complaining.