Karate goes beyond the dojo Karate is a lifelong pursuit
On 14 February 1999 I was born again, and since then growing spiritually has been important to me. At that moment, my view of the world changed, from people suffering and dying, always Wrong, to people doing our best under difficult circumstances, and God being in it with us. I can think of milestones since then.
Now I read of karate-do- the same word as tao in tao te ching- that I am at the beginning. Genwa Nakasone, in his commentary on Funakoshi’s 9th principle, says training never ends. At the first stage, there are no positive results and one holds onesself and others in low esteem. For most people, there is a final stage, taking pride in accomplishments and holding others in high esteem. Some move beyond, to a higher Tao where there is no pride or humility, but working day by day to gain victory over onesself.
Inside and outside the dojo, one trains mind and body.
I see myself at the beginning. Karate is aerobic exercise, and I feel some heightened sensation practising it, but my strikes have little force and I do not notice the deficiencies of others. So spiritual growth, rather than one thing, is many things. I have done well on Forgiving my Parents and Getting to Know Myself. In karate practice particularly, I notice my self-consciousness, and work on that. There, I am at the beginning. It is good for me to see myself as needing to develop certain skills and ways of being, because I need to develop them.
Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty.
Nakasone writes, one blow or one kick, given or taken, can mean life or death. This concept forms the soul of karate-do. If all aspects of life are approached with this spirit of seriousness, all manner of challenges and hardships can be overcome.
Kane and Wilder in The Way of Kata write that if people are not regularly being hospitalised from the dojo, then there is a flaw in the training which the sensei (“one who comes before”) should inform the students about.