Thursday, September 27, 2012

Okinawan Karate - the UnThinkable!

Those martial artists who train in 'Traditional Arts' rather than 'Sport', have for the most part discovered their roots and lineage of martial arts as they have been taught for centuries. Unfortunately, many people are erroneous in their concept of martial arts. Martial arts were never designed for sports, competition, etc., they were instead designed for personal self-improvement, respect, and self-defense. Karate in particular, was never thought of as a sport and when sport karate was invented in the mid 20th century, the masters of Okinawa (the origin of karate) strongly objected to this mistreatment of their art. Even jujutsu and judo were designed only for self-defense and techniques to restrain a prisoner or to stop an armor clad samurai in his tracks.

One of many benefits of mushin.
 It use to be that to train in martial arts, one had to swear an oath not to reveal the teachings of the art because of many secret techniques - such as how to reverse a technique on another martial artist, how to knock a person down with one quick strike, how to apply pressure points and in some cases, killing blows were taught.

Not only has most sport martial arts watered down techniques and abused kata and forms, it has also done something else to martial arts - it has driven many people away from the original path - a way of concern and respect for others. Even so, there are some positive attributes - most of all, sport arts have brought in many more people into the arts because of competition and an easier curriculum. We all just hope that sport martial artists will retain their respect and concern for all others.

A traditional karateka is prepared at all times – for self-defense and courtesy!

Through time, a white belt turns black with age. As time continues, black wears to white - Now the journey has begun
You have a chance to train tonight and learn to be a better person – this is what should motivate us to train in karate.

Thrust without thrusting, think without thinking – this is mushin

“Karate begins and ends with courtesy” - Gichin Funakoshi

Few people know what karate is? It is Zen, a way of life that teaches traditions, positive affirmations with self defense & meditation and these are all incorporated in kata.
 "if there is no kata, there is no karate, just kicking & punching" - Shoshin Nagamine

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