GUEST AUTHOR: Syed Asad Hussain has trained in Shotokan for one year and has also become a Goju Ryu student. Syed’s dojo website is karatestcatharines.com and his Sensei is Bob Toth.
Karate, literally meaning open hand, is one of the most popular martial arts in the world. Developed in the Ryukyu kingdom prior to the Japanese invasion of the 19th century, Karate has its origins in India through Bodhidharma who was a Buddhist saint that brought Martial Arts to China. Although Karate has many styles and different philosophies, they all teach the same thing: self-expression, confidence, courage to stand up for yourself, and the most important of all how to become a better person.
The most important thing I have learned through Karate is how to take everything in academically and to open myself to new ideas and not limit myself. As Bruce Lee said, “to have no limit as limit”. My Sensei has taught this to me and this is one lesson I will keep with me always. I have also learned that cross training is very important and that each Martial Artist should know what to expect from a different style. I will remember one thing my Sensei said to me when I was training, it’s not just about punching and kicking. How true this statement was. Learning to control yourself while learning this violent thing, finding the harmony between the inner peace and the violent being we all have inside us, to be able to express ourselves and feel like we belong to something much bigger and greater than ourselves. There is a point in your training when you realize that this thing has grown beyond physical and is trying to reach for the spiritual plane and that is where your true training begins. You start following these warrior ethics and codes you never knew existed and you become an artist of life, as quoted by Dr. Richard Kim, master of Goju Ryu.
I hope each Martial Artist shares this dream with me, to become as strong as you can both physically and mentally and being able to control ourselves in the toughest of situations and be role models for society.