Monday, September 12, 2005

Karate-Do: Right Thought, Right Action

karate can be a powerful influence in our lives if we allow ourselves to engage in correct practice. Karate can make us stronger individuals and give us the confidence we need to enfront the challenges of today's world. How can we apply karate principles and practices to our rushed and often chaotic schedules? How can we bridge the gap between karate kid to karate-ka?
1. Right Thought, Right Action: This means that karate must be a part of our thought process. One of the original philosophies behind karate is "refrain from violent behavior" which can mean many things. First, it is generally understood to mean that we shouldn't pick fights. It can also mean that we shouldn't allow others to provoke us. Next, as we look deeper it can be applied as "Guard against impetuous courage," or don't do something spur of the moment that you'll regret later. All of us know the kind of person who only needs to have the idea planted in their heads and they are jumping off roofs and riding on the hoods of cars (activities which I strongly advise against as they are unsafe!). Ozamu Ozawa taught "We shall be wary of foolishness."
Even deeper we see that karate inspires us to plan out actions to avoid making rash decisions that can cause harm to ourselves and others.
-This is not all! We must then APPLY correct karate principles in our lives so that we aren't just professing an ideal, but working actively toward a better world. This means that not only should we avoid incorrect action, but that we must occupy ourselves in service to others.
2. Erase bad behavior: As we begin to understand the concepts and practices of karate, we should recognize situations that we didn't handle well in our lives and things that we may be doing that don't fit into the character of a karate-ka. As we become aware of these aspects of our lives, we must actively try to clean the slate and become examples of what everyone should aspire to be. If we have wronged others we should follow a few steps: first- recognize that you have done something wrong. second- make reparations, return what was taken, or tell the truth. In all ways, correct the situation that was your fault. third- confess the wrong you have done to the person you have wronged. fourth- accept the consequences of your actions and pay whatever fines, service, or imprisonment that you must as punishment. Also, be brave about it, you "did the crime" now you must "do the time" and be glad you have the chance. fifth- resolve to never again do what you did.
3. Active Practice: Making daily practice a part of our schedule will help us keep in mind our responsibilities to ourselves and our fellows. Physically we will experience health and an increase in our ki (energy). This physical increase will lead to mental and spiritual benefits as we will be able to focus on homework or bills or our nine-to-five with focus and practiced determination. Part of this "active practice" may be joining a dojo and being faithful in your attendance and exert effort and sincerity in fulfilling the school's teachings.
4. Constant Improvement: We must each dedicate ourselves to improve more each day. Finding weakness in one's self will allow them to make necessary changes to eliminate weakness and may make it easier to find the "chinks" in the armor of opponents in the dojo and in the corperate world. It is important to set attainable goals and reach them.
some words on goal setting: a goal must be something within your reach after a reasonable amount of effort. you should be able to measure your goal and measure the progress that you are making toward it (ie, a good goal wouldn't be something like: i want to be a stronger person but might be something like: I want to be able to do fifty push-ups by October 1, 2005). Good goals have a definite time-table clearly outlined. You should write down your goals and periodically check your progress. Never set a long-term goal without establishing short-term goals that work toward it. Ex: If your goal is to be able to do one hundred push-ups in three months, you should set weekly goals that will incrementally get you to where you want to be.


Blogger Ken Matsushi said...

Nice blog. I will keep reading. Please take the time to visit my blog about Karate

2:24 PM  

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