Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The purpose of practicing karate

People really get tied up in knots over this one. Mostly because they feel like their actions are being questioned if someone doesn't believe or practice the same as they do. Karate dojo are more church than gym. Their confidence gets shattered if someone does it differently.

There are definitely many different and overlapping reasons to practice karate. The most important and long impacting one being health and fitness. The mental, tactical and puzzle aspects of it keep it fresh and enjoyable unlike 45 minutes on a treadmill.

It does come down to either form or function I believe, and I don't mean kata form, but aesthetics. Is it the costumes, ritual and tradition that you like, or is it the functional movement. There is definitely beauty in watching a person who has practiced a kata to the point of intense internalization, but this a result of his dedication to function and not the other way around. The costumes, rituals, ranks, and traditions for the most part are about as useful as drawing flames on your sneakers to run faster.

Regardless of my feelings on the matter karate is a personal practice. Personal means you practice the way that benefits you, and ignore what everyone else is doing. This is the way it should be, and you should cultivate the confidence to be proud of the way you practice. Physics, anatomy and physiology remain constant through all of the martial arts. It's only how we understand and achieve these things, which are different.