Thought For The Week


Thought for the Week (August 18th, 2003)

From The Markowitz Family,
East Meets West Shorin-Ryu Karate Club of Northern Virginia, USA

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Gan Precept

Onegai-shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sensei, Sempai, and Karateka:

For our Thought for the Week, we focus on the Gan precept -- the most
important basic precept of the martial arts. As discussed by Hanshi in
Building Warrior Spirit with Gan, Soku, Tanden, Riki, the Gan precept
involves the development and use of peripheral vision and 360 degree
awareness, and has application in both the dojo and real life situations
-- physically and mentally. Introduced to Karate by the ancient masters,
the Gan precept was interwoven into Kata through the use of 360 degree
movement to help the Karateka develop a sense of awareness of his own
and his opponent's space. In Yakusoku Kumite (pre-arranged fighting),
through Gan, we visualize our opponent's entire body by fixing our eyes
on his or her neck area, without breaking our gaze or moving our head.
Employed correctly, it enables us to pre-empt our opponent's moves and
optimize our reaction. The Gan precept enables us in countless real life
situations; while driving, its helps us sense and respond to erratic drivers
or unexpected pedestrians; upon encountering strangers, Gan cues and
heightens our other senses and makes us more mentally alert. In essence,
the Gan precept supercedes mere vision alone and serves the
Shorin-Ryu karateka as a virtual sixth sense helping him or her to
take the action most appropriate to the situation.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,

The Markowitz Family

(Lisa, Patrick, Hannah, and Jonah Markowitz)


East Meets West Shorin-Ryu Karate Club of Northern Virginia, USA