My karate sinsei was my Uncle Byron who was a Technical Director of Shotokan karate. He left a lasting impression on me, from how he was taught, and how his sinsei was taught and so on and so forth.
The principles or philosphy are applied to our human condition. All through life we are learning or teaching or both. It does not matter what discipline we attach ourselves towards. In K38, the character of the teacher is a constant refinement, with the eyes set on the horizon, on the soul, the standards, exceeding the standards and not surrendering to a status quo. Each instructor has a different path, a different form of maturity, denial, awareness, pride and ego to manage. We are simply humans who are in leadership roles, and each makes individual choices. These choices reflect our groups respectively and the whole. It is a big responsibility. Not all of them 'get it', the same as our students.. some will 'get it'. It is just life. Life will sort it out for all of us given enough time.
You have chosen to step forward, and publically. It is not an easy admission to make, it opens us to ridicule, comparison and a host of other negative human qualities. But those are the qualities that help a person strive towards the summit as a servant. One cannot serve if they have not first suffered themselves. Those rigth of passages become the key to opening a new door that was previously locked.
It is a big requirement to become a leader. Some just want to be called leaders, but they do not understand that it requires of you to first become a servant.
We are to help others become better human beings if they so choose. They must want it.
I just had our invitational camp out. All our guests/friends were invited to come to reset, to relax and enjoy. My children and I served. My job was parking, garbage and cleaning 16 portable toilets, every four hours. I never rested, and I did not want to, I wanted to serve. To see our guests enjoy. And by showing them that the highest is the lowest through actions and my children also understand, is the greatest reward, greater than sitting by a camp fire, greater than anything else that could have happened during 5 days of fun. Serving others...there it is! Few can understand that, nor want to. Cleaning the toilets brought joy to me, even though the work was disgusting, it was the care, caring for others... doing the lowest job, I am thankful.
Master Funakoshi's words never rang truer. I would like to share them with you:
Gichin Funakoshi laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate,(or Niju kun) which form the foundations of the art, before some of his students established the JKA. Within these twenty principles, based heavily on Bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of Shotokan.
The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inward and outward calmness. It was Funakoshi's belief that through karate practice and observation of these 20 principles, the karateka would improve their person.
The Dojo kun lists five philosophical rules for training in the dojo; seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor to excel, respect others, refrain from violent behavior. The Dojo kun is usually posted on a wall in the dojo, and some shotokan clubs recite the Dojo kun at the beginning and/or end of each class to provide motivation and a context for further training.
Funakoshi also wrote: "The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant."
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