Karate is for Life…

Karate is for Life…

How often does a karate teacher emphasise that karate is for life or that karate-do is a way of life?

I would hazard a guess that somewhere in the world – at a dojo, training camp or seminar – a karate teacher has made that very statement within the last hour.

But, what does that mean. Gojuryu’s founder MIyagi Chojun is said to have emphasised that one’s priorities in life should be:

  1. Family
  2. Work / study
  3. Karate

I think Miyagi sensei was at least partially right, but that the third priority should be something along the lines of ‘activities to promote physical or mental health’.

As the saying goes “two out of three ain’t bad”.

I enjoyed a post of Charles Goodin’s recently revitalised Karate Thoughts blog today that touches on this very topic, in which he related his pride in a One of his Student’s Recent Accomplishment outside the dojo (emphasis mine):

And, for me, Karate should not be the best thing that you do. If you are good at Karate and bad at everything else, then what kind of Karate student are you? But if you are great at everything else and good at Karate, then what a Karate student you are!

I think Goodin sensei gets it just right here. A student who is doing well in their karate and is doing at least as well in their other aspects of life, especially family, work and study, is the best role model we can have.

To quote one of Patrick McCarthy sensei‘s sayings: