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Shorin-Ryu Karate
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Quiet Trust

In response to a question of whether the karate-do concept remains as true as it had in the past, Master Ueshiro confidently replied,

"Karate teaches you how to focus your being on certain goals, whether it be to perfect a kata, or to master the nunchuck. And this focusing carries over into the rest of your life. Karate is more than just a physical skill: it is a balancing of mind and body. It’s a spiritual system as well as a sport, and one that is as valid today as it was two hundred years ago." 

My first reading of this passage was as a white belt. Although the philosophy did not have much practical meaning for me it still had a profound effect: could Karate be a vehicle to improve other elements of my life through the application of karate-do?


Later, as a green belt, I struggled to execute nekoashi dachi (cat stance). Frustrated from my inabilities to perform and often under criticism from class conductors, I wondered if I did not possess the "right" body type to learn this stance. My physical strength improved while my technique seemingly plateaued. Although I did not know whether I would "move forward" from this stage in my karate training, I quietly trusted Master Ueshiro’s principles and continued to train and executed many thousands of kata seeking modest, incremental improvement. The goal of "perfect" cat stance was not subject to an arbitrary deadline but rather of a lifetime marathon.

Now, as a black belt, I try to apply the same energy, focus, perseverance and passion to my family, work and other endeavors as I do to my training. I truly believe I have become a better father, husband, friend, son and employee, just from the benefit of vigorous workouts on the deck. Although I probably only have a partial understanding of Master Ueshiro’s wisdom, I know an additional 30 years of training on the deck will help close the gap.


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