The virtues of karate
There are many reasons why I am a Shotokan practitioner, teacher, coach and contributor to the art. Shotokan is a wonderful tool in many ways. It is both a thermometer and a prescription leading to a cure. It will tell you what’s wrong in your life. And then not leave you naked and helpless, but give you a way to work on fixing the problem.
Unlike so many athletic Pursuits, Shotokan does not require a specific place to train. Any empty room, backyard or basement can do for your Dojo or Training hall. You can do it with Partners Or Without Partners. It requires no special tools nor any special equipment. And no dues or fees (you can always train on your own). You do not have to be somewhere else at a certain time on someone else’s schedule, unless you choose to. You can train whenever and wherever you want.
You can strengthen your heart aerobically. You can strengthen your musculature isometrically. Olympic athletes used to train in the early part of the 1900s, primarily by using isometric means. This is one of the best ways to develop core strength; while protecting joints, ligaments and bones.
Furthermore, Karate practice with a dojo Kun or code of conduct not only strengthens the body but strengthens the mind and the Heart. The principles which make you a better person all the way around are also the principles which will make you an expert karateka.
Karate unlike so many athletic Pursuits can be a lifetime Venture. You can start it from earliest childhood and continue on, through your strongest and most physically Dynamic peak. Furthermore you can continue it, into your senior years and physical decline. The stretching will help you maintain flexibility and mobility; while contributing to peace of mind and a sense of character and well-being. It does this not only in the beginning but can sustain this beneficial role, throughout all the days of your life.
Rank is an important part of the growth fostered by karate. It is not so much about a belt that is hung on your waist but an internal gratification, resulting from skills developed and mindset learned. The inner value of ranking can never be taken away, no matter the twists and turns in life. It can be a reward so deep, that it is ingrained throughout not only your physique but also through your whole being.
The spiritual benefit of karate is incredible also. The Seven Virtues of Bushido seem to be, the absolute ideal essence of Christian character and conduct development, to me. Therefore, Learning to be a great martial artist should also be the art of learning to be a great human being. Funakoshi said it well, when he said the ultimate goal of karate was not only in physical Perfection but in the ideal character development of its participants.
As such, karate must start first with a humility of heart and a willingness to learn. And in fact, it must continue along these lines, to obtain the highest essence of good taught in the art.
Candidly, To be a great karate master is to be a good servant, as Jesus taught. If a great Mastery is developed. It is with a deep heartfelt and genuine sense of gratitude; knowing that you have been blessed, to be able to engage and develop such a wonderful activity and pursuit in your life.
I personally feel like #shotokan not only strengthens you in this life; but can develop virtuous, spiritual characteristics that will last and flourish in Eternity. Additionally, Karate is not only virtuous because of what it does for you. But furthermore because, it becomes a tool allowing you to give the utmost; in personal, character and physical development, to other people you care for.
Like most wonderful virtue’s, there are some mysterious aspects to karate. Since I have trained for most of my life. I have come to understand that it’s truly a living, ancient technology. And that if you work on it long enough: Eventually you will discover that it is also working on you……. It is like so many things I do for Christ. I finally grow to see that the things I thought I was doing were really something, Christ was doing in & for me.
So, I am unapologetically a Christian martial artist. Christ is my source of strength, meaning and Power. Therefore worship also ties into the martial arts for me. It is it is the way, I take care of my body, God’s Temple. And it is also a means that I use to express praise in the process.
I think I could write on this subject all night and barely scratch the the surface. But before I wrap this subject up, I should mention the distinct benefit of karate versus other martial arts. Unlike so many contemporary forms of mixed martial arts (which I am not speaking against by the way). Shotokan karate can be pursued with a primary idea of contributing and adding value to your fellow man; not only being a powerful combatant and devastating Warrior, able to overcome and vanquish him.
And certainly being an effective and dangerous fighter is also a value of karate. Through its practice, you are well able to defend yourself and protect those you love. At many times during my life when I have needed it, karate has been there as a secret weapon that effectively allowed me to defend myself and others. My Quaker Peace testimony is that I have never aggressively attacked anyone, with my keenly developed skills, unless it was to defend and protect someone else.
On and on I could go, about the benefits I realize from my karate training. But benefits are like shoes, you will not enjoy them unless you try them on and come to a comfortable fit for yourself. So then, the best way for you to experience the marvelous benefits that I’m describing in this article; is to find an honest man with a good heart, who is a true karate expert and learn for yourself. I recommend karate as away to start changing your life. I recommend karate has a way, to continue improving your life. And I also recommend karate as a way, to ultimately feel & know you have had a meaningful, full and rewarding life. I certainly feel this way myself.
AKA Sensei Tim