It is now close to fifty years that karate—the art of empty hand fighting—has been popular in the West. Karate’s aim is to develop a synergism of the will, the nerves and the muscles which manifests itself in the maximum controlled release of energy, speed and strength. Good karate means command of the mind as well as the body. Although there are countless styles and thousands of so called grand masters, one thing is certain: In order for karate to be effective it has to be a thing of beauty. Grace, speed, strength, discipline, courage, humility, all combine to make a great karateka, but very few have been able to reach a high level—as opposed to a high grade—if one of the above is missing.
In my 45 years of competing and training in karate, I have discovered only one teacher – a far younger man than myself – who not only combined all these traits, but also was in the enviable position to be able to pass them on—to teach them. You can find out for yourself from the fascinating film, Shotokan Mastery, which I highly recommend.
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