Sunday, April 25, 2010

Helpful handful: 5 lessons from karate

Here is a handful of lessons that you should probably get in a karate class.  At least, my karate teachers all emphasized this stuff.
  • karate ni sente nashi - there is no first strike in karate.  That is, you (often) don't have to be the aggressor to defend yourself.  In fact, similar to the ma-ai idea in my previous post on 5 aikido lessons, the second guy to move often has the advantage.
  • kime - When you recognize your opportunity, take a stand and throw all of your power and soul into it instantly, because you may not get a better chance than right now (ichi-go ichi-e - "one encounter one chance")
  • kiai - can defibrillate, demoralize, or destroy.
  • Seek safety in the mouth of the dragon - Seek safety in the heart of danger - it takes a special kind of person to "run toward the sound of the guns" in order to put an immediate end to a problem. Directness is a karate virtue.
  • Circular defeats linear, linear defeats circular - Not exclusively a karate idea, this concept is incorporated into the structure of aikido and judo also, but it lies at the strategic heart of karate. Do not fight the opponent's fight. Wrestle a boxer, box a wrestler. If the attack is circular (like a haymaker), then there exists a linear solution. If the attack is linear (like a jab) there exists a circular solution.
Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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