Sunday 24 May 2009

Lifetime Budo

I am a very confident person in my life, but when it comes to my karate technique, I’m never happy with myself – never satisfied. That is the reason I’m so confident in my life outside of the dojo, and this is how karate-do builds its followers into stronger human beings. Karate training knocks us down, as it forces us to mercilessly face our weaknesses, and no matter how much we technically improve, we find more flaws… Unlike our lives, karate is never ending, therefore it serves as a vehicle to improve ourselves throughout our lifetime, hence it is ‘lifetime budo’.
Shuseki Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai once stated “A karateka who thinks he is ‘good’ is finished, if they are trying to follow Karate-Do.” In my opinion, this statement says so much about authentic confidence/humility, self-motivation and the foresight to seriously seek improvement both physically and mentally (through the art).

How can a karateka, who is always seeking to improve, be or become arrogant? Well quite obviously, they can never be arrogant, and if they are and wish to keep progressing technically, they need to foster humility. That is, they must be, or become, legitimately confident in themselves.

I’d like to conclude by saying “If one is satisfied with their technique, or arrogant about their ability, their karate is stagnant, not only technically, but also in their personal growth.

My goal of one day having good karate, may never be achieved, but I will use the 'karate training process' to better myself as a man, throughout my life. To me, this is Karate-Do and what defines it as 'Lifetime Budo'.

OSU, André Bertel

© André Bertel, Japan (2009).

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