Karate Thoughts Blog

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Not Useful Unless...

I lift weights at home.  I am 54 and it is necessary for me to lift in order to maintain muscle mass and tone.  However, I don't just lift because it makes me look better or healthier.  I have noticed that since I started lifting about 5 years ago  I am stronger.  I can lift heavier things -- like a lawn mower, or rocks, or dirt, or a heavy suitcase, or my granddaughter.  My point is that getting in better shape helped me to be able to do more work.  It was not just a matter of looking better -- it was a matter of being able to do more.

What does Karate training help you to do?  Of course, there is a self defense value.  It is certainly useful to be able to defend yourself.  But what more is there?  Aside from self defense, how does Karate training benefit your life?  Does it enable you to do more?

I believe that this is a really important question.

In my own case, I know that the discipline of Karate training has helped me in my work as an attorney, and in all of the other things that I do.  This sounds simple but it is not: to be able to work when you should work and concentrate 100% on the task at hand.  Most people cannot do this.  In Karate, we learn to become focused.  We might be focused on a punch aimed at our face or a kick aimed at our groin.  But for that moment, we pay attention 100%.  If we extend that to our work, we can focus 100% on the task at hand, and put other things aside until the task is completed -- no matter how long or how much effort it takes.  How many workers do you know who can do that?

My point is that Karate should not just be for vanity.  It is nice to be in shape.  It is nice to be able to defend yourself.  It is nice to feel confident.  However, what more can you do with this?  What can you do to help and contribute to your family and society?  Are you just a tough guy?  So what?  There are lots of tough people.  But how many people use that toughness to help others, stand up against injustice, etc.  Karate must have meaning beyond the immediate benefits of self defense, getting in shape, etc.

Karate is practiced in daily life.  The measure of your Karate is how you are doing in daily life.


Charles C. Goodin