What Do You Want From Karate?

So, a question – what are the two main things that you should hope to achieve when you are practising a Martial Art?

Often, and unsurprisingly, the answer is self defence. Although this is undoubtedly a very good reason the two main ones should be Confidence and Humility.

It is fairly obvious that regular and diligent attendance to a Martial Arts club, particularly those based on Karate or Judo, or Kung-Fu, or Ju-Jitsu or Aikido etc, the student would gain strength, stamina, flexibility, power, balance, co-ordination, speed of reaction, correct breathing and a good posture. But one should also be working on Awareness (Zanshin).

Zanshin means an awareness of your sight (do you see? Or do you just look?), your hearing (do you hear? Or do you just listen?), and your body.  Do you ever actually listen to what your body is telling you? Is your mind in charge of your body? Or is your body in charge of your mind? Does your Sensei actually tell you what your body should be doing when you deliver a technique – I do – and if he or she does not, then why not?

By practising what is essentially an art form that is violent we must seek calmness, control of ourselves, and anger management.

So, to summarise:

What are the two main things we hope to achieve when we practice a Martial Art?

Answer: Confidence and Humility.

What else should we get and develop when we practice a Martial Art?

Answer: Strength, Flexibility, Power, Balance, Co-ordination, Speed of Reactions, Posture, Breathing.

What else can we get?

Answer: Awareness (Zanshin) – of Sight (Looking and Seeing), Hearing (Listening and Hearing), Awareness of what you body is doing (or not doing!), and Calmness, Contril of Ourselves, Anger Management and Good Humour.

Bearing all of this in mind – if all you want to do is hack and bash and fight then the Buntingford Karate Club is NOT for you. If you wish to be enlightened about yourself, then, please join us.

Sensei Bill Hooper.