A picture of karate

The more we learn, the more we realise we do not know. Rarely in life I see it as clearly as in the karate practice. You start with a white, blank belt and bring yourself, technique by technique, hour after hour, year after year, sweating, hurting, grinding toward the black belt. But it doesn’t end there. The more you practice, wearing your black belt, the more it gets worn – and the whiter it gets. There’s always more to learn. Slowly, you regress. The details to work on seem to multiply and the more you learn, the more there is yet to learn.

For this art project I wanted to portray the progression/regression in karate by letting the white belt meet the black paint meet the blank, white paper. White-black-white. A perpetual pendulum. And in between the white and black, the grey – the way forward. Ahead. Onwards. Because there’s always more to learn.

This is thirty years of karate practice distilled into a vision of this constant seesawing motion. In karate, as in the arts, the challenge is one and the same: for body and mind to work together. I know that it will look different in a few years. It must, because I will never be finished. I will always have more to learn. Back to white, return to black. Forever.

See the pictures here.

Photo:  Mattias Karlsson

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