It’s been said that Karate can be a ‘way of life’ or a philosophy for living. My teacher agrees with this but I must ponder it myself. The basic moral code of Karate is that it’s for defense only. This is a good thing. It also teaches us to remain in good physical condition and practice daily. This is another good thing.
I think where I start to trip up is when I try to compare Karate to something like Stoicism.
The following is a reading list for my Karate Study. To be read in order starting from Karate Do as a white belt and then read the next one when you advance in rank.
Karate Do: My Way of Life by Gichin Funakoshi Zen in the Martial Arts by Joe Hyams Karate Dojo: Traditions and Tales of Martial Art by Keith Urban Living the Martial Way: A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think by Forrest E.
As part of my martial arts education, I have to read a book for every rank I progress in (see my reading list). When I first started I thought this was a stupid thing to do but then I realized that my Karate education is like taking a graduate class in university. You are choosing to invest in yourself to learn a specific topic of interest. It was during that epiphany that I understood that Karate encompasses so much more than just physical conditioning and kata, it is a philosophy on life itself.
In class today (May 30th) we honored Tatsuo Shimbuku’s passing in 1975 at the age of 66. In his honor Ik Kyus and above performed Sansu Kata at the start and end of class. I found this to be a touching rememberence for the man that created the Isshuin Ryu style of karate.
SanSu Kata is the only Isshin Ryu style kata was incorporates the best moves of all the ShorinRyu and GojuRyu Katas thathe learned when he studied under Chotoku Kyan Sensei, Chojun Miyagi Sensei.
Reposting from my Flickr Account which will soon be deactivated and all content migrated:
“This year I travelled ‘a hella lot.’ It’s been a good but tough year. I love traveling and my current gig lets me do almost as much as I want. The downside is that it takes a lot out of you, it’s not a pleasure cruise. Traveling for fun is different because you’re on a different time table and you can go at your own pace.