"Karate as a tool"
ByShelley Schlossberg-Gucker, Ik-kyu
Denver Shorin-Ryu Karate Club
In the same way that the mirror may be the most important tool in the dojo, karate may be the most important tool in our lives.
In The Essence Of Okinawan Karate-Do, Master Shoshin Nagamine states "Karate is self-training in perfection, a means whereby a man may obtain that expertise in which there is not the thickness of a hair between man and his deed. It is training in efficiency. It is training in self-reliance." Just as by looking in the mirror you can see an incorrect stance during a kata, you can see what needs work on in your life by looking at your karate. It is terribly hard to hide who we are on the deck. Usually, that thing which is the hardest for us, is the very thing that needs work.
One example of how the karate may be used as a "mirror" for our lives: When an individual has difficulty focusing eyes straight ahead starring at ones opponent. This individual might look at how he/she focuses in his/her life. Is there currently something stressful going on that is causing the individuals mind to wander. Or is the individual shy, or insecure. These are possible interpretations. There is no judgement upon a deshi, just as there is no ego on the deck. It is self interpretation that is important. The trick is looking at ourselves through the karate & trying to implement improvements.
Shelley Schlossberg-Gucker, Ik-kyu