April 02, 2010

A lifelong marathon

Shorin-ryu karate master Shoshin Nagamine, 1907-1997.

If all goes well I'm off to Okinawa today for almost two weeks. More posts are planned for this period but the time may be a bit off (as will I).

As I've mentioned many times before, I'm going to spend a little time studying karate in the land of its origin. It is a deep discipline, and one that has enriched my life. Here's a quote from Shoshin Nagamine's classic text The Essence of Okinawan Karate Do that expresses some of its depth and some of the reasons I've tried to stay with it over the years:

Karate is self-training in perfection, a means whereby a man my obtain that expertise in which there is not the thickness of a hair between a man and his deed. It is a training in efficiency. It is a training in self-reliance. Its rewards are here and now, for it enables a person to meet any situation with exactly the right expenditure of effort, neither too much nor too little, and it gives him control of his otherwise wayward mind so that neither physical danger from without nor rampant passion from within can dislodge him.

Needless to say, I haven't gotten there yet, and am in no danger of getting there. But I'd like to get a little closer. Nagamine again:

Karate-do may be referred to as the conflict within yourself, or a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training and your own creative efforts.

No links today. Adios!


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