Getting it right
Throughout time, man’s need to defend himself from external forces, is as old as man himself.
It is this universal desire to walk away alive, if not unscathed, from a violent personal conflict, that for many ancient cultures hastened the need for a system of self defence.
Over time these systems included not only the use of weapons, but also empty handed techniques. In either case, these methods would finally be refined until they were not only very practical to use, but also until they could easily be taught to others, and thereby handed down from one generation to the next.
Today, however, while self defence is still a consideration, the vast majority of students seldom study karate just to learn the deadly skills found within each style, but instead they study karate as an art form.
Today the art of Shotokan karate stands at the pinnacle of that evolutionary process.
Now those students who approach their karate in this manner, and who remain dedicated to the journey, will in the long run come to learn that there are many added benefits, often unexpected, that will enter into their daily lives as a result of their karate training.
I for one know this to be true.
After having trained in the art of Shotokan karate for more than 26 years, I tell you in all honesty that I have been changed for the better in more ways than I can ever describe as a result of my involvement in karate. I would not, however, be where I am today without the undying support of my wife, and the other members of my family.
For this I will always be eternally grateful to them.
I hope that the same thing can also be said for you.
But getting where I am took more than just my families support.
It took living a balanced life.
So I say to you, "above all else, learn to live a balanced life".
For me that meant truly realizing what was most important and then prioritizing.
1. Always family first.
2. Then your health.
3. Then your work.
4. After these three things then karate, friends, or anything else, in any order you like.
But always family first.
In the end it is paramount for you to remember that on your journey down the karate road it is not the destination that is important, it is what you do on the journey that matters. But I assure you, you can not make that journey alone.
So always treat all the members of your family regardless of age, with courtesy and respect. If you do they will always be there for you when you need them.
Always look after your health. One body, one life. So watch what you eat and drink, along with everything else you do.
Always do your best in your chosen profession. Since you never settle for less than your best in the dojo, never settle for less than your best at work. In both cases you will always be rewarded for your effort in the end.
And lastly always treat your friends, your karate, and everything else you do with the same respect and courtesy that you give to your family. If you do you will never lack for true friendship or anything else for that matter.
If you follow these simple rules, and always keep them in your heart, then you will be well on your way to having a balanced life, and as a result a much more rewarding journey down the karate road.
"You can not have balance in your body, in your mind, in your spirit, or in any
other aspect of your world, if you do not first have balance in your family life".
Part the clouds - see the way.
"The objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay