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A Pimple on the Butt

A Zen priest once told me that there is a saying that all the books in the world about Zen do not amount to a pimple on the butt when compared to actually sitting zazen.

Studying "about" something can never compare to actually practicing it.

I have access to more Karate books than most people. Would reading all these books amount to only a "pimple on the butt" when compared to actually practicing Karate?

When it comes to the history, traditions, and culture of the art, I think that books are very useful. They are a window into the past and into the experiences of the authors. When it comes to the techniques and dynamics of Karate, I think that books can give us hints, but we must discover the principles ourself, through actual practice. The mind can learn from books, but Karate requires that both the mind and body learn.

Even our teachers can only teach us so much. It is up to us to digest and apply what they teach us.


Charles C. Goodin