Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit

Karate Is a Thing Of the Spirit
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A white, metal-backed thermometer with a red tube dangled on a nail at the front of the room, a make-shift exercise meter teasing us to nudge up the mercury. We showed up at the dojo shivering on winter evenings but, after a few minutes sweating, embraced the cool air and forgot about the weather. Then, one night in the dead of winter, with a Pennsylvania blizzard wailing outside, I had my first taste of what karate was really all about.


The usual punching, kicking, and shouting filled the tiny dojo with energy. Sweat beaded up on our foreheads, and our uniforms flapped around us like white, dancing birds. Abruptly, Sensei Handest stopped teaching, looked us over for a few seconds, strode to the door at the end of the room, and yanked it open. We shivered a bit as snow whistled through. New to the place, I wondered what was up, then stared in disbelief as he darted into the storm in his lightweight uniform and bare feet, bidding us follow.

Follow where? Anyone notice our bare feet? Anyone notice snow just blew through the door? Anyone know the temperature? Anyone think this is crazy? Anyone care? I stood there with my mouth agape as my friend, Al Bean, and the other karate nuts obediently followed Sensei out the door, emptying the dojo until I was left alone. I looked around the now- vacant room and wondered what in the world to do. Am I actually paying for this?

My compatriots were rapidly disappearing into the night, and I was a confused statue. I looked down at my big, bare feet for inspiration and took a deep breath. I hunkered down into my gi as far as I could hunker, determined not to be a pansy, and scampered into the snowy night, yanking the door closed behind me.

At that moment, as I followed them out the door and up the sidewalk in my white uniform and new, very white belt, into the dark winter night, jogging through two feet of fresh, cold Pennsylvania snow, wiping the whirling snowflakes from my face, an idea began to gestate in my pea brain. It was the first taste of real karate knowledge I may have ever had.

1 -The Roots of the Tree

Why is it that they squirm like snakes on the ground when practitising Hun Yuan Gong a type of high level qigong? Trade Paperback. John's man hood takes a beating all ways: Gaye Nell so frustrates him he pounds his hands to a pulp; defenseless he falls victim to the wiles of two female impersonators; then Gaye Nell se duces him, while he is helpless and for once doesn't want her. Not the least of which is to try to offer their child a setting where they can learn to focus, or to become more confident. First editions, autographed and signed books from feminism to the occult, naval history to crime. Karate is a Thing of the Spirit Harry crews. Kekki no yuu o imashimuru koto Develop self-control.

We were heated up and stayed that way through the run. We ran for twenty minutes, returning anxious to train. It was a great run—one of many in my bare feet in the snow from that day on, including one through downtown on Christmas Eve. Running in the snow in your bare feet seems weird, I know, but it has its logic. Train like a warrior. Find your limits. Know possible from impossible, reality from limitation. Throughout history, the four-minute mile was considered sacrosanct and unbeatable until Roger Bannister broke it in the Olympics, with a time of 3.

In the next Olympics a dozen people beat it.

Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit.....

Did the human race suddenly get faster? Probably not. Finding that dojo was either pure luck or destiny, maybe both.

Sensei came up with dozens of limit-pushing tests, from breaking concrete to running marathons in July heat, but the first step toward an unrestrained future was the hesitant step out that door that cold winter night in Every class and all the training outside of class was dedicated to making us stronger and faster, more flexible, with better cardio, more powerful kicks and punches and an understanding that karate had to be pounded into the spirit, not left on the surface for people to admire. Kata was training for self-defense.


Sparring was practice for fighting. Scoring points meant we were generating enough power to hurt someone. It was hard for a referee to judge that, but we knew if they were any good or not. Much has changed over the years. People do karate for a thousand other reasons than what we did — and all of them valid. In Itosu began to teach school kids karate.

It was one of those bends in the trajectory of destiny that throws the world off balance for a while, and it still resonates through karate. Sparse, intense and brutal. But Itosu envisioned his Shorin Ryu as a vehicle for forging good Japanese citizens and a strong Japanese military. While Budo can easily misinterpreted as a philosophy of violence and war martial it aims on the complete opposite.

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French Aikido master Guillaume Erard recently described Budo as. This foundation leads to the execution of good and just actions. This spirit is characterized by endurance, perseverance, persistence, self-confidence, determination, risk-taking, competitiveness. To not give up or to give in is constitutive for the attitude of Shotokan Karate. Spirit makes the difference between winning or losing in many cases. Hence, Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of the Shotokan style, favored spirit over technique. Training session usually end with the recitation of the Dojo Kun, the training hall rules, in many Dojos.

The Dojo Kun comprises five rules that should guide the behavior of the Karateka inside and outside of the Dojo.

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Start by marking “Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit” as Want to Read: This was the first Harry Crews book that I read. His mother later moved her sons to Jacksonville, Florida. Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit: A Novel [Harry Crews] on inandegeschest.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This is not a Print-on-Demand or facsimile book.

These are:. The Dojo Kun fosters the development of a strong, honest, and civilized character. Karateka are called to constantly trainer their and improve their character. Beside the Dojo Kun, which is a rather thin but handy ethical codex, exist the 20 precepts guiding principles of Karate Do. Gichin Funakoshi was the author of the precepts and developed a broader moral philosophical foundation for Shotokan Karate Do.

The precepts, however, should not be understood as commandments. Karate Students are called to keep them in mind and execute them on a daily basis.


The 20 precepts are:. Budo and Do Shotokan Karate Do seeks to be more than a system of self-defense. These are: 1. The Dojo Kun are the guidelines for the right behavior of Shotokan Karateka inside and outside of the Dojo. The 20 Precepts of Karate Beside the Dojo Kun, which is a rather thin but handy ethical codex, exist the 20 precepts guiding principles of Karate Do.

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The 20 precepts are: 1. Karate begins and ends with courtesy. Japanese: Karate-do wa rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru koto wo wasuruna.

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There is no first attack in karate. Japanese: Karate ni sente nashi. Karate is an assistance to justice.

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Japanese: Karate wa gi no tasuke. Know yourself first, before you know others. Japanese: Mazu jiko wo shire, shikoshite tao wo shire. Japanese: Gijutsu yori shinjutsu. Be ready to free your mind.