Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

December 31st, 2017

This weeks technique is submitted by Sensei Rick Cupoli
San Dan
Shihan, West Melbourne Dojo, FL

Karate ni sente nashi

Onegai-shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei, Sempai and all Deshi,

On page 37 of the Red Book there is a final question in the chapter "Kumite and Weapons".

The question is: What does the phrase "Karate ni sente nashi" mean in English? The answer is found on page 43: "There is no first attack in karate."

In this same chapter question 34 asks: If one never fights how will one learn to win? The answer, also on page 43 states: By never fighting!

I recall a class I attended at Hanshi’s dojo years ago where two boys got into a small scuffle. Hanshi, of course, stopped them. To them he said, "This is karate, we do not fight."

This ideal may seem contradictory but it is at the core of the karate way. Any karateka who can avoid a physical confrontation by walking away has won, even if it may look as if the karateka has backed down. A true karateka will never be in such a situation by their own intention.

With this proper mindset, it is also critically important that in the training hall, we exercise all of our techniques as if our life depended on it. Karate training is very much like any emergency training. We train with the hope and desire that we will never have to use it. But in the emergency circumstance, when there is no alternative, the quality of our training will be what we depend on to save our life.

The karate way is to show genuine love and kindness to all. This notion is emphasized by our proper and effective training in the dojo.

Domo Arigato,

Sensei Rick Cupoli
San Dan
Shihan, West Melbourne Dojo, FL