Philosophy of Karate
Philosophy behind karate is vast and complex. It stems from
thousands of years of armed and unarmed combat. Techniques that
were perfected hundreds of years ago, are still being perfected
over and over again by each new generation. Buddhism, Taoism
and the "Code of Bushido" have all played a part in the
development of the martial arts philosophy.
The minds of
martial artists are filled with various techniques they have
learned; jabbing, blocking, punching, kicking, sweeping,
throwing, deflecting, locking as well as hiding, escaping and
running away. These skills were only used as a last resort and
only in self defense. But, once the moment to fight came, the
martial artist would use every technique, every ounce of energy
and determination to overcome his opponent quickly and
effectively. The body was finely tuned by thousands of punches,
blocks and kicks during extreme heat and freezing cold
temperatures. A martial artist's body became accustomed to
exhaustion, sweating, strains and bruises, all in an attempt to
achieve self perfection. To be able to defend themselves in any
situation or to be able to perfect a kata and execute it exactly
every time, this is the martial artist's ultimate goal.
"Kime", sometimes referred to as "Ki" or "Chi", and "Zanchin"
are important philosophical terms and play an important part in
the martial arts. "Kime" or spirit is the backbone of most
martial arts systems. It is what martial artists use for
inspiration, ideas, courage, and focus. "Zanchin" is also used
in conjunction with "Kime. "Zanchin" or state of total
awareness is also used when training and in combat. Zanchin
allows the martial artist to be aware of what's around him, to
have a sort of sixth sense, brought about by experience and
instinct. The samurai used his zanchin during battle, in order
to properly prepare his mind for victory or death.
Another important concept is "Do", translated as "The Way".
This is a path, or way of life, by which martial artists
follow. Many martial art systems have incorporated this
philosophy, such as; Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Kendo and Karate
Do. Even though most karate names don't incorporate the "Do"
into the name itself, it still is there in spirit...
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