Turning up at the dojo, just before training starts I can sense the enemy around. He is waiting to strike. The class lines up and starts the initial ceremony, shutting our eyes in meditation, he is here creeping around us.
Training starts and as we go through the kihon the battle commences with my worst enemy. The enemy within. The voice in my head that whispers “you have done enough, you don’t need to do those punches, no one will notice”. We move on to partner training – “take it easy, you know this stuff, you don’t need to try”.
Then on to sparring – “give up, you don’t need to fight, you did well in the first bout” and so on… All students will face the same enemy, which is why Karate is a way, “do”, for self-development. If you can win with yourself you become strong. We need strong, self-confident people.
Being confident means that you are not afraid to stand up for yourself or for others, which enables us to take action and to help. Strong and honourable people are needed in a healthy society and Karate is a tool for creating individuals with a strong spirit through hard training.