What Karate Means To Me
To me, karate means many things. Since I first started karate six years ago, I have grown, in more ways than one. I look at things now, in a different perspective viewpoint, due to the continual expansion of my knowledge. Therefore the meaning of karate to me now, is much different to that of mine, six years ago. My first impression of karate was strongly influenced by martial arts films. From years of training, I have come to understand that karate is much more than just fighting and killing.
Karate is years of hard work and dedication, for the serious karateka who is willing to take that one little step further to rise above the rest. To succeed in karate, a person must be prepared to make sacrifices along the journey of life as a karateka. As far as my understanding, the ultimate in karate is self-enlightenment.
Discipline, self-control and respect, are some of many things that I learnt from karate. The most important thing that I have learnt from karate is confidence. Through the years, I have developed confidence in my ability to do things, and do things well. These aspects of karate, are becoming parts of my daily life. It has benefited me in many ways. For example, confidence in my ability enables me to try new things without the fear of failure and rejection.
The two most important things in my life at the moment, are karate and my schoolwork (education). I want train hard and try my best in karate, and at the same time, obtain high grades in my schoolwork. Karate helped me with my schoolwork, by helping me to concentrate more in class, and thus, completing more work with excellence. Karate has always been an important part of my life. I train three to four times a week, and therefore I couldn't spend as much time as I would like to on my schoolwork. This is when I make little sacrifices in my life. I spend less time going out with my friends, and use that time to do the things that are important to me, that is, karate training and homework.
There are times in my life when I was tempted to use my karate in my school grounds and on the streets. Somehow, I always managed to control my anger, and walk away without having to fight. I know that fights only cause trouble so I try to avoid it as much as I can. If I used my karate, and it worked well in a fight, then I would be in trouble with the school principle and other authorities. On the other hand, if I use my karate and it doesn't work, well, then I will get seriously injured.
Karate is an important part of my life, and it always will be. During the day, I encounter many stressful and difficult situations. Every night I look forward to karate training, because I know that for two hours, I can forget all about my stress and worries, and only concentrate and focus on karate. As a result, I feel very peaceful and undisturbed.
Karate has benefited my life in many ways. I have learned values and skills, which has improved all aspects of my life, from physical fitness to mental capabilities. All of these values have improved my life one hundred per cent. Karate had taught me the importance of giving one hundred per cent in everything I do.
By Edwin Ten, 12th October, 1992
Edwin Ten began training at karatedo on 21st January, 1987, at age 10years. He was graded to Shodan on 15th November, 1992, at age 16 years, and to Nidan on 11th January, 1998 and Sandan on 13th January 2003.