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Know 10, Show 5

As you advance in Karate, your knowledge will naturally increase. When you learn something new, do not be eager to show it. Allow yourself time to more fully understand it. Sometimes how it seems at first will differ from how it seems after you have given it some thought.

In an article entitled Humility at the Hawaii Karate Seinenkai website, Morio Higaonna writes: "What he meant by this is, as your power and technical abilities grow stronger to the level of 10, your confidence will also increase and so you need only to display your abilities to the level of 5."

If you know 10, you should only show 5. Part of this has to do with humility. Another reason has to do with protecting your advantage. If someone sees your best, he will have an advantage. If he only sees you at half-level, you will have an advantage (unless he knows that you are holding back).

It is said that here in Hawaii, the dojo windows would be closed once class began to keep out uninvited eyes.

My first instructor of Kenpo Karate, Florentino S. Pancipanci, used to say: learn to know yourself, make sure you know yourself; don't show yourself.

If you know 10, show only 5.


Charles C. Goodin