Each of us has great hidden or unnoticed potential that with proper training can reveal surprising power. Karate is a means by which your physical and mental barriers can be lifted and this potential released. Students of karate learn to coordinate body, mind, and spirit through fighting technique and by striving for a mental state of “nothingness.”
This is part of Zen philosophy. The word karate implies lack of ego and achieving a state where outside influences cannot interrupt or disturb your concentration. This makes it possible to decide and act more quickly and powerfully.
Venerable G. Funakoshi, the founder of Shoto-kan Karate, stated “The ultimate goal of karate does not lie in victory but in the perfection of the character of the participants. Karate is not meant for street fighting.
The principles you learn while training apply to every other area of life. Here is an observation of mine:
Pistol shooting is one of my hobbies. One challenge on the pistol range is to cut a business card turned sideways in half from 50 feet with one bullet. One day, after watching me shoot business cards this way, one of my students, a brown belt, wanted to try it. Pistol shooters know that it can be very difficult for a new shooter to hit even an 8 X 10 inch target from this distance. But even though it was only his third day of shooting, he cut the small card in half on his fifth shot. I couldn’t believe it. The next week, I took another student, this time a black belt, to the shooting range. Although he had never shot before, he cut a business card in two on his very first day.
A few days later, I invited a yellow belt to try. Even he succeeded in splitting the card on his first day.
In each case, it took no more than 12 rounds.
I believe this success comes from my method of teaching pistol shooting which is based on the principles of karate. I encourage my students to reach a state of “nothingess” where the mind is relaxed and undisturbed by extrernal forces. Then I tell them to believe the barrel of the gun is 50 feet long and its nose is touching the target. There is not way the bullet can go anywhere but right through the card.
The mentality learned in karate is what made it simple for these students to achieve the task so easily
I include this example here to illustrate one of countless way karate training can affect your life. You will take the lessons of karate with you everywhere. Life usually provides ample opportunity to put these lessons to use.
From Kitoh Karate by S. Sugiyama Copyright 1994