Karate begins and ends with courtesy. No one is qualified to be a karate person without courtesy, even if they exceed others in their technique. Courtesy is pursuing karate-do for the purpose of seeking peace and showing your deep respect for others. When we pursue karate-do, we try to learn the theory and its application from our predecessors and treat these seniors with the due respect and courtesy; in return they treat us with the due regard and consideration.
Steady and hard efforts can produce miracles. Diligence is firmly rooted in the practice of bushido (the way of martial arts),this helps us overcome the difficult situations we all encounter.
Sweep preoccupying thoughts from you mind before training and concentrate on all movements with the maximum vigour.
Karate requires a harmony between breath and action, we must learn to adjust our breathing until each breath coincides with each movement during practice.
Karate practice must be finished by observing the essential idea that karate begins and ends with courtesy, therefore we must end practice by bowing with decorum.
“Dojo” means place of learning or training hall, this is the place where courage is fostered and the strength of human nature is bred through hard work. It is the place where discipline and the practice of respect and courtesy must be the most important thing in your mind.
1. Always bow as you enter and leave the dojo, this forms part of your humility and respect for the others in the hall and also shows your willingness to do your best at every session.
2. You should sit on the floor during break times, or remain standing
3. Shoes should be removed before entering the dojo (only if this is practical)
4. Do not eat in the dojo
5. Remove all jewellery before training
6. Make sure your ‘gi’ (uniform) is clean and your finger and toenails are kept short and clean.
7. Always address the instructor as ‘Sensei’ and any assistants as ‘Sempai’
8. Do not run in the dojo
Always show your seniors (grade) respect and do not ask higher grades to spar.
There should be no contact during sparring (kumite).
Do not push for grading. You may ask when you are ready for grading but accept the instructor’s decision.
Always follow the instructions you are given and maintain a good attitude at all times.
Respect your training partners.
Always arrive for training 15-20 minutes early. Use this time to stretch and warm up for the class. There should be no unnecessary noise. If another class is operating, sit quietly until your class starts. Once you enter the dojo you should not leave without your Sensei's acknowledgement.
If you are late for the class, get the instructor's attention and quietly stand near the side of the hall, bow, then enter the class by walking behind the lines and joining in at the appropriate place.
The Mastery of Karate-do
He is human and so am I
I cannot develop my own potentialities when trapped in self-limitation
I must discard this self-limitation. If he practices three times, I must practice six times
Do not depend on others for your improvement
Cultivate your mind as well as your body and believe in yourself
Karate-do can be referred to as the conflict within yourself, or a life long marathon that can only be won through self discipline, hard training and your own creative efforts.