Honor implies a vivid consciousness of personal dignity and worth. The Code of Bushido says that honor is conveyed by one’s name and character and striving to uphold the moral code of behavior. Samurai never compromised their character and honor because “…dishonor is like a scar on a tree, which time, instead of effacing, only helps to enlarge.” With respect to the study of Kenpo we are to approach our lessons with a sense of virtue and do whatever we can as students to cultivate the art within ourselves and to help it grow in our communities. Kenpo is not about hurting people; it is about cultivating humanism…being the best we can be in all we do. When we think of our teachers and our teacher’s teachers and their teachers, and all who have come before us, we can appreciate what has been given to perpetuate Kenpo to this day. Then we can see our study with a sense of reverence and see that in Kenpo we have a very valuable treasure indeed.
“… we are to approach our training
with a sense of virtue.”
In light of this then; we should truly strive to “apply ourselves to the study of Karate.” A sword cannot be sharpened unless it is scraped against a stone. To put it another way, you must apply the stone to the metal to sharpen the blade. Apply means to come into contact with something. Study means the cultivation of a particular branch of knowledge. In studying Kenpo we must come into contact with the motion in order to gain the lessons contained within the motion. In other words we have to physically do the motion in order to sharpen our skills. I have often said you cannot learn karate by reading about it or watching someone else do it…you have to do it yourself. Diligent practice is necessary. Someone once said that points of enlightenment are spaced between long periods of boredom and repetition. In searching for the magical answers we think karate will give us we often forget the path to those answers…doing motion. As my instructor says…the philosophy is in the system…or, the System is the Solution. The Chinese figured out a long time ago that if you take people and have them practice these postures for a long enough period of time, the outside will fix the inside.
“Points of enlightenment are spaced
between long periods of boredom and repetition.”
So, every time we go to class, or each time we set out to practice; let us approach our training with the highest character virtues and diligently do the motions that have been passed down to us through the ages.
Take care and see you on deck;