Thought For The Week

"Control your emotions  ...
or your emotions will control you."

By Pat Moriarty - Ni-Dan Pine Forest Karate Club of Northampton


In this fast paced day and age, one can find many opportunities to apply the training precept of controlling ones emotion. Practically on every street corner we can observe road or side walk rage that could easily result in a senseless death. We can also witness parents scolding their children out of anger that could scar the child for life.

The next time you are involved in or witness a real life confrontation such as these, play back the scenario as if it were the fabled dual between Miyamoto Musashi and Jitaro at the beach of Ganryu Island. What would be the outcome? Remember that Jitaro lost his life even though he appeared calm with courage, because he was battling his emotion of greed. For if he were to kill Musashi he would be the best swordsman ever to have lived.

The following is an old Okinawan fable that will easily hit home what could go wrong if we were to react with emotion:

Once, a samurai returned home from battle to find another samurai sleeping beside his wife. To save his honor, he immediately and angrily drew his sword while they slept . Split seconds before sinking his sword into his wife’s suitor, he remembered one of his first lessons while training in the arts of war. "Never strike out in anger." He sheathed his sword and returned to the front of the house. He then made a ruckus to awake the two inside and let them know he had returned. He was grateful for his training when he once again entered the house to find his wife standing next to his mother who was dressed as a samurai. In his absence the two women had been fearful of intruders.

The karate maxim of controlling one’s emotions is an around-the-clock practice, not just for on the deck.

Arigato Kyoshi
Pat Moriarty
Ni-Dan Pine Forest Karate Club of Northampton

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