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Karate and Zen

Some people teach that Karate and Zen should be practiced together. See Nagamine Shoshin: "Karate and Zen As One". While I respect this opinion (I wrote that article), I feel that the two are unrelated and that it is not necessary to practice Zen when you already practice Karate.

If Zen is needed, it means that Karate is incomplete. If Karate is required, it means that Zen is incomplete.

If I practice Karate and feel that I am lacking something, I should practice Karate more dilligently, not start something new. It is far better to be good at one thing rather than mediocre at two things.

In my opinion, Karate is a complete art in and of itself. You should realize the stillness between movements and the movements between stillness.


Charles C. Goodin