Spiritual growth

Karate goes beyond the dojo

Karate is a lifelong pursuit

File:Funakoshi.jpgOn 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.File:Funakoshi Makiwara.jpg

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.

7 thoughts on “Spiritual growth

  1. Hi Clare, an interesting post. I agree that if we tackle life’s challenges in a serious and earnest way that we can overcome anything really. I’m not sure about the hospitalisation aspect though… quite a few years ago now I did wrestling training for around a year. It was incredible and I’ve never been as fit as I was then, but my trainer came from this old school tradition also. He used to say that if you could walk out of the room after 2 hours of training, then you didn’t work hard enough! ha I think there is a balance somewhere in this. Happy day and happy training to you! self-betterment is a worthy pursuit 🙂


    • They also say that if a black belt is in a street fight and he pulls his punches like in sparring, it will not end well. Though- when were you last in a street fight? They are so often on the telly that perhaps my own experience of having none is unusual.

      Training stories. Go on- “I was still stiff five days later once.”

      Be well.


      • I’m total anti-violence and have never been in any kind of street fight. I truly am a lover, and a runner when the need arises! haha I would do whatever I needed to in order to protect my daughter however…


        • Well, exactly. I have not even walked rapidly away from a potentially violent situation, since becoming adult. These chaps are talking of police officers, though, so they will have confrontation routinely.


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