Aibudo Kanji
Picture of Shihan

August  2000

Volume 2 Issue 8

Are you what you appear, to others, to be? 
Or, is your life a fašade?  Give it some thought.

-- The Complexities of "Courage" --

     Have you ever given any thought to what makes up courage?  Does it exist all by itself or is it a combination of other entity's, that missing any one, is unable to truly exist?  What about: pride, self-confidence and self-discipline.  Could the outwardly appearance of  courage be a facade, only because pride was stronger than common sense.  Sure it could, but true courage has to include pride, because pride in one self, would not allow abuse of yourself or others.  That "internal voice" would not allow it.  You surely must have confidence in yourself or the execution of true courage, couldn't exist.  Without discipline, you wouldn't have been able to train yourself in the necessary mechanics of defense, which is where true self-confidence comes from.  Truly believing that you are in control of yourself and a situation is a very powerful feeling.  But the threat of  losing that control, can manufacture the facade of courage, which is a danger to yourself and others.  A mistake made in the defense of pride, could be a lifelong regret.  If you are going to allow yourself to be put in the position of requiring true courage, then the discipline of not allowing outside sources to interfere with your martial arts training is paramount.  Sometimes, life seems to get in the way of the arts, but it should only be a short detour back to where you belong.  Others may not be in the right place at the right time to perform the duty of defense when it is needed.  Observing  the abuse of others, in particular, where you could have intervened, wasn't prepared and allowed it to happen, could haunt you the rest of your life.  Now, on the other hand, if you are an individual who does not have the desire to require the entity of courage, then the martial arts or any other line of training in that regard, is most definitely not for you.  Without desire, learning is nigh impossible.  But now again, just hope that the individual who did take the life-long journey to develop true courage, is there when you need them.  It's your gamble, your life!

Funakoshi's #7 Precept

Do not think that "Karate" training occurs only in the dojo:

     We need to take our martial arts training out of the school.  Now more than ever, we must bring all aspects of the arts into our life.  Confidence, discipline and self-esteem cannot be achieved during the hour or so we spend in martial arts school.  We need to grow all day long.

          Excerpted from the article by Frank M. Kushner in BlackBelt Magazine, dated December 1999

Life and the martial arts

     Is life a sport, with rules, or an "all out" winner takes all?  When you look at it that way, life must be a sport.  But, do you only prepare yourself with the knowledge that the rules will be obeyed by all who participate.  Sometimes, the rules are thrown out and the "followers" of life suffer, without the knowledge of how to survive.  As a true martial artist, you train for the time(s)  when the rules are abandoned and life is staring you  "dead in the face".  Your life or who's life?  It may be your choice and yours alone.  Is it paranoid to involve yourself in something that appears to an outsider, to only be necessary when the rules are thrown out?  If everyone "played by the rules", there wouldn't be a need for a police force, which is paid to protect us.  The belief in them protecting us, is a fašade in itself, as it is impossible for anyone other than yourself to be there 100% of the time for defense.  With that said, is your defense good enough for what comes?  Let's hope so.  If not, whose fault is it?  It's sure not the sport of life.

-- Did you know? --

Masutatsu Oyama and Mas Oyama are one and the same.  He started his training at the age of 9, when he studied chabi (taiken).  It was a combination of kempo and jujitsu.  He added training of shaolin kungfu with chabi together with a North Korean farmhand employed by his father, until he was 13.  In 1937 he was sent to a military academy in Yamanashi Prefecture, changed his name and began studying shotokan.  After 2 years he was not happy with the way his training was going and moved to Tokyo and enrolled in Takushoku University.  He was accepted at the Shotokan (private dojo of Gichin Funakoshi) and trained under Gichin Funakoshi for two years, two hours a day.  Time went on and he finally developed his own style of martial art known as Kyokushinkai which has over 1.5 million practitioners world wide.

This  Issue...

1.  Some things to ponder on                 4.  Advancements
2.  Precept
3.  Historical Perspectives