“…Karate is the battle against one’s self and one’s way of life...”
In the future, karate-do should not be a technique to defeat humans. When it gives an edge to others and yourself, then initially, it becomes a precept as Do and practice becomes valuable. In modern times, there is a method of instruction and a way of studying karate-do as a sport, but Ido not know how the readers interpret karate-do, as a budo or just a sport in common with the West. Certainly, you can think that there is no difference from other sports when you refer to the rules of the game. Also, the main purpose of sports is to train the mind and body at the same time. It applies to budo as well. Yet, it is difficult to say that the many events that have been invented in the West are simply sport and that only Japanese ancient grappling games are called budo. Presently, there are Olympic games and many kinds of events. Judo, kendo, and karate-do have been introduced as sports. Their sporting elements are emphasized and introduced by many people and have also been reformed to become a sport. Still, there will be a big difference in the mental attitudes between people who practice karate as a sport and as a budo. This is because our society is formed into many organizations, sometimes in a family, school, or workshop. In these societies, the purpose of sports is to make healthy minds and bodies, to bring together a sense of cooperation to make a member of society adapt to this human society. Moreover, it promotes the improvement of a member of society. By having characteristics common to all by sports, the events are used to encourage making peace in the world.What about budo? Budo did not originate in a peaceful atmosphere. It was necessary to protect one's life at the time, and to learn how to use budo as a weapon and achieve one's responsibility as a warrior. It was the warrior's duty to develop spirit. This rule was established in the hierarchy. It was the theory of a warrior to desire winning a war. Modern budo is not the extension of ancient budo. Right now, there is no hierarchy like in samurai society. Society does not force you to destroy human life; however, one of the conceptions of ancient budo is skill inherited in modern budo. Before, warriors practiced budo and respected it as Do, suffering, and facing death. In spite of the fact that death is the destiny of all human beings, the idea of death is dreadful. Ido not doubt that the ancient budo philosophy was resisted by human beings facing death and yet also the way of character building to learn to overcome death. For a living thing, instead of knowing that life is the most precious thing, death was the naught. As a result of putting oneself in the naught, they could ignore their fear of death. In the ancient budo book, Hagakure, it is written that budo i s death. In these words, you can find the spirit of budo, which is superior to death. In other words, an object of the fear of death is neither others, nor weapons -- it is oneself. As a result, it was necessary to obtain a technique to protect oneself and one had to have a strong spirit to correspond to that. When one could overcome a conception of death, there was an improvement of a human being as a samurai. When it was developed, karate-do was used in place of weapons and studied that way so that the spirit of the samurai was needed at the beginning of its conception to learn karate. Now there are rules, but the techniques and elements have not changed.
The goal of many sports is competition; however, there is a sense of entertainment or hobby. On the other hand, karate is the fight against one's self without having an object. In sports, records are saved and defeating these records becomes the success. They are introduced to many people as a means of character building and harmonizing mankind, and they are kept. In karate-do, there is nothing to be recorded. The more superior is judged by the technique used. Now, karate is the battle against one's self and a means of the way of one's life not to defeat others or to die. This solitary fight is to know one's own spirit and the desire to the naught that is superior to the limitation of the body. If one's aspiration is a formal victory or defeat, that is just a stage of learning techniques, not a faith of kyo or mu. As an author, I also studied Yoga and Shinto to seek this faith. I also trained myself to get closer to the strictness and mystery of Do.
“When you perform kata, the most important thing is your mental attitude.”
In conclusion, it is not necessary to be strong even though you practice karate-do. You want to be stronger than others because you compare your strength with others. The object of karate-do is Do not comparing with someone else, and this Do will continue forever and ever.