When I first started Karate, I thought the sport was all about physical strength combined with speed and technique. However, as I became more involved in Martial Arts, I realized that my initial understanding of Karate was only the tip of the iceberg. I practiced Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do which means “Hard-Soft style”. Soft style focuses on fluidity of motion and hard style focuses on power of a strike. Besides self-defence techniques, Karate is an art form that can transform your personality if you allow it.
I see Karate as a perfect blend of discipline, humility and patience.
The first time I stood in sumo stand for my Kata, I couldn’t walk the next day. My sensei told me that my body will get used the change if I persistently keep pushing my limits. One principle I learned from Karate which I still apply to my day to day life is that discipline and consistent handwork can beat gifted talents any day.
Besides discipline, Karate also taught me to always be humble. Our sensei used to tell us that a true master never feels the need to show off his/her skills to others unless it’s absolutely necessary. I firmly believe that a person’s true character can be seen from the way they interact with those who are less privileged than them, especially with those from whom they have nothing to gain.
Karate also taught me patience. Every day after our Kata practice, we had an opportunity to spar with a partner with similar skill level. Instead of reacting with an impulsive aggression, you have to react with stillness and patience. We had to make sure that our control strike does not hurt our sparring partner.
Using the principle of “soft” style, we had to allow our bodies to move with complete fluidity and motion. Once the strike reached its maximum speed, we were taught to use the principles of “hard” style to add power and intensity. The key to a prefect strike was to generate the power from the core rather than using individual muscle groups of arms and legs.