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Interview – Doing Karate

Traveler Interviews – Carlos Carrasco

What was your last trip? And what motivated you to do it?

My last trip was to Japan, where even though with my 58 years, I was finally able to fulfill the dream I had since I was 15, when I started with the art of Karate-do. In those years, it seemed impossible to achieve something like that because it was really expensive, but luckily, although a little later, I was able to achieve it. With the years I have now, I can say that I enjoyed it the same or more than if I had gone at 15.

How about the experience of traveling to Japan? Is karate different to what you knew?

The truth is that if you have had a good Japanese instructor or an instructor that have lived in Japan, it shouldn’t be different. Karate is the same. Those who have problems are those who do not know Japanese discipline well, since it is a discipline that requires being extremely respectful. The most beautiful thing I could live there was the relationship that is generated with the heart, over the barriers of language or other things. The Japanese appreciate this above everything else. What you feel is very important to them. Japan is a wonderful place. A place that I believe every person should visit at least once in life and to see why we all want to return. I spent 3 months living in a society that moves around mutual respect. Where everything is organized, tidy, clean and safe. It is structured so that people live comfortably. As I say, it is an experience to live.

Japon Karate Carlos Carrasco

What would you say to someone who dreams of traveling or doing an experience like this but it is not sure whether to make the trip or not? Is age a problem?

It doesn’t really matter how old you are, if you want to travel, I recommend you to follow your dream. If you want to visit a specific place, for whatever reason, do it so.

One of the things that the Japanese have as a premise, and It’s to do in life what really makes you happy and I consider it is a great message or great teaching that left me living in that society. They have a lot of freedom for it. They really can do what makes them happy, without worrying about others’ judgments. In Japan, people do not judge others. Unlike us who are always looking outside, and always focused on what the other is doing or not, they are always looking at themselves. That was explained to me by my Sensei when I asked him about some important differences we had with the Japanese. There is much respect for the decisions that others do.

So I recommend anyway that if you want to travel, you should do it. And if you have done it, keep traveling because I believe that who likes to travel, never gets bored.

What does traveling mean to you?

For me, traveling gives you the opportunity to live different experiences, that cannot be lived in your normal environment. I believe that if you travel, you will come back stronger and at the same time you will understand better what really means to be an emphatic person. You learn to be more humble. For me traveling is in reality, to enjoy life in a deeper consciousness that you had before the trip. And it allows us to grow tremendously if we focus on the right things. If you learn from the experiences you live, it is really something we should all do.

What was the most difficult part of your experience?

Among the things that I could say was more difficult in Japan, at least for me, was trying not to be wrong in the way of behaving, since there, when you are accepted in a closed circle, at least what I saw in the Karate, it is assumed that you know all the behaviors of etiquette, which are many.

And even if you focus too much on this, because we are from Western, sometimes we are more relaxed in the way we behave. The same for my discipline, I have always tried to be at the best level, but when I arrived there, I realized that the level was much higher. They really take protocol, behavior and etiquette very seriously. This was complicated at times, at least to those who do not want to make mistakes and who try to do things as well as possible. My Sensei René Vildósola has always tried to teach me the best and he was also very supportive in Japan, and I apologize if I have made a mistake in some things. So for me, it was really a wonderful experience, and of course, I would like to repeat.