Karate and the Martial Way
Karate is a martial art that developed in Okinawa, a group of islands between Japan and China. From there, it has spread around the world, and is perhaps the best known martial art in the world today. Martial arts train the practitioner to optimize the use of their mind and body. The means of doing this is to push you past your limits of both physical and mental abilities. The only way to accomplish this, is to become more integrated than most people know they are capable of. The goal of karate is not just proficiency in self defense, though that is certainly a very positive benefit of training. The primary benefit of martial arts training is the mastery of yourself.
This mastery of oneself is referred to as The Way – pronounced Do (“Doh”) in Japanese and Dao, or Tao, in Chinese. There are many methods of achieving mastery in The Way. Spiritual systems abound attempting to teach exactly that. Over the centuries, however, many have found that training in the martial arts greatly accelerates one’s progress, especially when combined with other spiritual work.
This was the secret of the ancient Shao Lin Temple in China. It was found that integrating mental & spiritual training with physical training resulted in faster progress in all these areas than studying either of them alone. Most modern martial arts can trace their lineage back to the Shao Lin Temple and its techniques of refining body, mind and spirit. It is this example we are emulating in Aiki-Kime Ryu Karate Jutsu.