Karate Do: A Thought For Each Day:



Isao Obata Sensei (1904-1976) was one of Gichin Funakoshi's senior Japanese students in Shotokan and a founding member of the Japan Karate Association (JKA). The following are some of his precepts:

1.        If the mind is correct then the fist will be correct.

2.        Karate-do begins and ends with courtesy.

3.        The first lesson is to stand correctly.

4.        Power should reside in the hara (center) not in the shoulders.

5.        The secret lies in 1000 strikes of the makiwara each day.

6.        The hips are the master and the hands and legs are the servants.

7.        The body should be hard (go) and soft (ju).

8.        First vision, second agility, third courage, fourth power.

9.        Study each kata's unique elements and express them.

10.     Pay special attention to the transition between techniques.

11.     Always think of yourself as in a life or death situation when you train.

12.     Techniques are fast or slow; the body stretches and contracts: the power is released completely or held back.

13.     You must understand the difference between a punch that works (live hand) and one that doesn't (dead hand).

14.     Techniques are simultaneously defensive and offensive.

15.     If you don't perform zanshin correctly your efforts will be wasted.

16.     Without kiai technique will not come alive.

 For further information see:  Shotokan Karate-A Precise History by Harry Cook.  If some of these terms are not familiar to you, do not just pass them by, rather do some research.  Studying the thoughts of those who have walked the path before us will keep Lotus alive and provide you with many areas of study that can only make your path more enjoyable and fruitful.

 Submitted by Tim Hollembaek