Submitted by Kyoshi Michael Mackay Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
Under the Direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione
Onegai shimasu, Hanshi, Sensei, and fellow Deshi,
Seiza offers a drawbridge between the preoccupations of our work-a-day world and the focused attention required for karate training. It provides an opportunity for introspection in the present - how we're breathing, aligning our body, storing or releasing tension - as opposed to contemplating things past or future. We learn the discipline of gently placing our concerns on hold, not to be ignored or forgotten, but simply side-lined until the benefits of the class leave us better equipped to handle any challenge.
Seiza also teaches a skill highly advantageous to the martial artist: the power of detachment. When sitting seiza, a deshi strives to detach from the many distractions of body, mind and spirit, be they physical discomforts, wayward thoughts, or unruly emotions. Ego falls by the wayside and the student gains the power to "see" (or ignore) everything, unconstrained by the limitations normally imposed by our sense of place, self, and time. It's the same skill displayed by the hawk hovering over a vast horizon, oblivious to the subtle wing movements keeping it aloft, oblivious even to its own hunger, perceiving everything at once but seeing nothing except a possible spec of movement below.
Much of our training centers on kiai - the hawk's strike. Learn to detach from your distractions, especially those you enjoy most, so your body, mind, and spirit can be clutter-free the moment they converge.
Domo arigto gozaimasu, Hanshi,
- Kyoshi Michael Mackay Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo