Julia Volkova - Russian female karateist and consultant of the FSCC
There are different ways which people use to come to Karate-Do.The most often – accidentally, as it happened to me. But actually more important is how they stay there. “Everything in our life must be done for the right reason” – a friend of mine often says. Everyone choose his/her own way to percept the world and to move ahead. Such a way we need. For me it’s Karate-Do.
I barely remember the moment of my birth :-) But if taking it seriously, I participate in Karate since I was 16 years old. I am 20 now. I am a fourth grade Law student. I am working in a firm which sells wigs.
Recently I got the first Kue in the version of the National Karate-Do Federation. I don’t participate in competitions in principle. Working just for winning impedes development. People become hostages of rules, which stand for preventing traumas. But what is a contest if not inflicting traumas to each other?
Nobody works in full contact now. It’s impossible because the fight in this way would go until physical destruction of one of the opponents (death or serious trauma). During training I practice semi-contact that allow light traumas: bruises, stretches, etc.
Yes, I participated in hand-to-hand combat and Aikido. And although you can’t call Aikido “MARTIAL” art because it’s too formalized and stands too far from reality, I think that playing Aikido is one of t best way to feel an opponent dynamics.
People may come to Karate-Do by different ways. Most often it’s just by chance. That’s what happened with me. When I was in 11 grade a Karate section was organized in our school where everyone was invited… It’s not important why person come, it’s really important why he/she stayed there.
Yes, many unfamiliar people know that I am a karateist. In fact, I wear weight loads on my hands and legs. I train in “non-stop” mode - it allows me to compensate time shortage. The most common question regarding this is: “Is this pulse bandage? Your hands hurt?" - regret creep into this. When I say it’s a kilogram weight loads they surprise very much and ask to try on. The next standard note: “Uh, hard but you should put them also on legs”. One thing is just left - to lift pants leg up. Once a funny case happened with me: my college professor decided to try my leg load. When a person first time puts on and takes off loads he feels like a floor is springy under legs. It’s very unusual feeling. Usually, the person starts shifting from foot to foot. And even jumping. That’s what my professor did. At that moment the dean came to the auditorium… If seriously, the only particular feature I have that sets me apart from the others is that I know what I want. I think that meaning of life for each person is perfecting. No matter where. In music, in art, in literature, even in plumbing construction if the person manages to treat it as art.
It seems to me that any form of human activity can be either interesting (if it’s yours liking and if you feel that it’s just for you) or not interesting. Not in terms of typical - non-typical. Some time ago even women’s education was considered as unusual activity. Of course, it’s more complicated to be a woman in martial art - due to physiological reasons. It’s distressing when you see that men who you started together advanced much further. But if a woman is ready for that she will succeed in any case. If I have a daughter I would advice her to take part in any favorite activity.
Since feminism appeared there were many activities which women were attracted. Women got a lot of rights and opportunities and they want to use them.
Making warriors is not a goal of oriental martial arts as it is imagined in movies. Real essence of karate-do is calmness and benevolence. In fact, at the end of training you feel satisfaction and fatigue.
Aggression in sparring is not acceptable. Human consciousness must be like water surface in windless weather, then all surrounding reality reflects properly there. Surface ripples (fear, aggression, attachment to something) disturb the picture. Strong emotion doesn’t allow reacting adequatel.
Women are more emotional from birth. There is more personal involvement and hatred in female single combat. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prevent it; such is the women’s nature.
Yes, that’s true.
A woman, even well trained can never stand against a trained man. It’s true only in respect to a trained one though. Women are continuers of the human race and self-preservation instinct doesn’t allow them to rid of themselves and to compete perfectly. For any fighter there is another fighter who will be stronger. For a woman it will be a man. Nevertheless, I consider mixed contest as helpful. It allows avoiding personal involvement. But such competitions have disadvantages too. Many men can’t force themselves to work toughly against women. They explain that by care about women. But in real life, for instance, if someone attacks you he won’t say:” I see you are a woman and I won’t beat you too much”. Such a care sometimes turns out to be a well-meaning gesture that backfires.
Women don’t have to but may participate in traditional men’s activities. Unfortunately, feminist movements in Russia sometimes mixed up these two concepts.
I think that broken lips or a battered nose don’t decorate either gender. Fortunately, the both traumas recover quickly. I you think too much how to avoid an injury you will definitely get another one. Sometimes even more serious one. Participating in karate are significantly reflected on my appearance, for example I have corns on my hands. But I can’t avoid that and I take it as a given.
I hope, not. But time will tell.
Martial arts are not crueler than fights between animals in wild Nature. Fighting (including fighting for survival) is a norm of the life.
Perhaps, a woman who has personal motivations to hate me.
Training competitions are the most helpful. The best opponent is your teacher.
It’s very personal question. The only thing I can tell you that I consider such superiority not just acceptable but very desirable, even necessary.
This is a personal matter of a man - whether or not to be gallant toward a woman. But a woman remains a woman whatever she does.
I am not aware of such cases. Probably, people are attracted by adrenaline.
The most impressive in any competition - technical work. This is an art and it always beautiful.
Nobody considers bodybuilding to be humiliating for instance, although there is sexual underlying theme there and they are sometimes called “thoroughbred meat”. The both are just show business. They have nothing to do with serious martial arts. Those people make a show like those who dance or sing. They have different goals and use different methods.
Yes, the most of my friends are martial artists and when we have a free moment we sometimes frolic for fun. It helps to release stress and to satisfy desire for movement.
I will never fight over a man. It’s not a problem solution. In such a situation you must correct your own mistakes rather than beating up your rival. Physical violence is acceptable only for self-defense.
To wish to be in a conflict situation means to attract a conflict situation. It’s wrong. Conflict situations happen just with those ones who unconsciously attract them. If a person is internally calm and self-confident, he/she won’t get into such a situation. The paradox of martial arts lies in here.
I was born in an ordinary Moscow family. As the famous person said: “My father is a lawyer and my mother is Russian”. My mother is a lawyer though and my father was physic-mathematician. My parents were separated just after my birth but managed to keep friendly relationship. My father taught me many useful things. He said that it was the most important for everyone to have a goal and to go toward it. He belonged to that small group of people whose work coincided with their favorite activity. He died when I was 16. I wanted to be a biologist when I was a child. On one hand, I was interested how the world is settle. On the other hand, I wanted to catch a feeling that appears and slipping out when you watch grass or trees. And you can’t separate yourself from the tree. As if you merged with it and you are flowing over a river. And nobody is around. At such moments you realize the unity with the whole world. Probably that’s what we call “meditation”. In childhood it’s easy to feel such aloofness.
The life dictates it’s own rules and my child dream hasn’t been fated to come true. There is no future for a biologist in this country. In parallel to high school I graduated from lycee attached to the Moscow University. But I didn’t continue my biological education. Now I am a future lawyer. I started Karate-Do at high school. Through it I am trying to return that almost forgotten feeling of natural and unity with the Nature.
Besides Karate and Dzen (these two things are indissoluble tied), I have hobbies as everyone does. I like being outdoors, I like animals. When I was a child I had cats, dogs, fishes, turtles, mice, hamsters, parrots and a water snake. Currently, I have two cats, Doberman, fishes and turtles at my home.
Always try to be present where you are doing something.
One more time particularly went through your site. This is a very successful job. I noticed though that Russian and English versions locate on the same pages. It’s very unusual. Usually, the home page has references to the both versions. One more thing: there is no firmly established spelling of the word Karate in Russian and your version is different form what I saw in all Russian dictionaries. I just want to pay your attention to this. Besides, this is very professional job.