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Morality in Karate

 

One of the most difficult tasks in teaching karate is to Instill belief in the moral aspects of the martial arts. Most students are interested in the immediate results of fighting techniques and know little or nothing about the morality, which is the foundation the martial arts are built on.

 

Some of the most common questions asked of senses; "If you are fully aware of the violence inherent in manís nature, are you not turning out killers? Are you not teaching an art that enables man to destroy man?" The answers of great Okinawan masters have always been, ĎYes, we are fully aware of the violence Inherent in manís nature, and within karate lies techniques to kill with the open hand. "But there is also morality involved in karate, that controls the violence and the use of the art, except under one condition absolute necessity." As one karate master stated, karate is not a way to violence, but a way to gentleness. Now the question arises. "How does one go about teaching fighting techniques and instilling morality at the same time?

 

It begins with the karate sensei. As a teacher, it is his responsibility to do his best in making sure each student is taught the morality, the characteristic, and the values that lie within the martial arts. Some examples:

 

                A student should treat everyone as he would want to be treated;

 

                A studentís ego should be kept in check;

 

                A student should be taught that life is precious, and life can only be taken if absolutely necessary;

 

                A student should realize when a person takes another personís life, most of the time a part of him dies also. One of

          the most important lessons a student is taught, is self-control. It should be taught and completely understood by the

          student, that anger is his worst enemy.

 

IF YOU HAND GOES FORTH WITHHOLD YOUR ANGER. IF YOUR ANGER GOES FORTH, WITHHOLD YOUR HAND.

 

Another answer is found in Kata: THE HEART OF KARATE. Kata is meant to train the mind, and is not intended solely for self-defense or tournament competition. We should strive to bring it in contact with the real self and its true purpose. Kata, in traditional way, is a religious ritual. The art of karate does not mean the ability of technical excellence, but an ability of attaining a spiritual goal though the practice of Kata, so that the karate-ka plays against himself and succeeds in conquering himself. In karate, one does not make the first move. All kata begins with defense and ends with defense. The kata instills the belief that the true karate-ka never strikes first, and never strikes out in anger. In the martial arts, the achievement of self-perfection should be more important, to those who possess it than his physical and technical ability.

 

ONCE YOU HAVE PROVEN THINGS TO YOURSELF, YOU HAVE NO REASON TO PROVE ANYTHING TO ANOTHER PERSON.

 

 

 Copyright © 2005 Wayland's Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do, LLC

 


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