Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (August 23rd, 2009)

Northern VA Ueshiro Karate Club, Centreville Va.

Onegaishimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi (x3) and all Deshi of SRKUSA--

This week's thought is provided by one of the Northern VA Ueshiro Karate Club's newest Ni Dans, Mr. Sean Paus.

A question posed by many Sensei on promotion boards across the system is, "What is the purpose of Karate?"

A common answer provided by many Deshi involves becoming healthy in body and mind and learning discipline, focus and respect.

Reserch of this question reveals that there are many views on the purpose of Karate. One such view is that "The ultimate aim of karate-do is to build character, conquer human misery, and find spiritual freedom" Another explanation found is that "The main purpose of Karate is for health benefits" and, also "The purpose of Karate is to make the body like iron, or as hard as rock."

The great masters gave Karate its purpose, and handed that down to us through our teachers. However, we also give purpose to Karate on a personal level. Identifying that purpose is an important part of our journey of self discovery, an important part of building character.

So, as far as I'm concerned, my purpose for doing Karate is to become
more focused and disciplined, to become stronger and more tolerant, and
to become more patient and nurturing.

What is your purpose for doing Karate?

Sean M. Paus

Thank you Mr. Paus for your thoughts on Karate's purpose. This TFTW led to a very interesting and entertaining breakfast conversation between Hanshi and me. We discussed how the purpose of Karate was indeed personal and could be many things but Hanshi reminded me that a major aspect of Karate training is to be humble, that is to defeat yourself as the ultimate goal in Karate. I then remembered him telling me as a child studying Karate that we must leave our egos with our shoes at the door of the Dojo and that helped solidify the thought in my mind. Hanshi also noted that in order for the purpose to become fulfilled, whatever our definition of it is, we must actually train, and just do it!