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The Ultimate Aim Of Karate


The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants
Gichin Funakoshi

Karate is much more than punching and kicking. It goes far beyond learning the patterns of kata. Karate also imparts to its students certain qualities that help to create a more well rounded person.

The Bushido Code or the Code Of the Samurai had eight virtues as I have mentioned in previous writings. The 8th of these virtues was Character and Self Control. Perhaps the writer was saving the most important for last for within Character lies the roots for all of the others.

Hideyoshi wrote: Bushido teaches that men should behave according to an absolute moral standard, one that transcends logic. What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. The difference between good and bad and between right and wrong are givens, not arguments subject to discussion or justification, and a man should know the difference. Finally, it is a man’s obligation to teach his children moral standards through the model of his own behavior: The first objective of samurai education was to build up Character. The subtler faculties of prudence, intelligence, and dialectics were less important. Intellectual superiority was esteemed, but a samurai was essentially a man of action.

As you can see Character was of major importance to the Samurai as it is, according to Funakoshi, todays martial artist as well.

The Six Pillars Of Character
Trustworthiness
Respect
Responsibility
Fairness
Caring
Citizenship
Josephson Institute – Center For Youth Ethics

In the dojo, in my dojo at any rate, these pillars are taught daily. It is my belief that these six things along with dedication and hard work make a strong moral base and lead to the building of character in the individuale.

To begin to build these qualities and that of character in an individuale it is firstly important to give them a sense of pride, not only in what they are doing, but in themselves as well. Once a person who is participating in something realizes that there is a sense of honor in what they are doing they become more and more willing to respect the honor that the lineage of what they are doing represents. Once the respect is instilled within them their character begins to grow. They see things in a different light. Such things as honesty and courage begin to come naturally to them. In this character is forged and the new person emerges.

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  1. August 30, 2011 at 8:16 am

    awe, martial arts, is the art of mastering one’s self! (~_*) bows humble~

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