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Victory Without Fighting


(This abstract is a synopsis of a more extensive work to be presented at SIM 24/26-Oct-03)

Abstract:

It is my belief that competition in karate shows to the students that if they want to win, the only way is fighting, instead in karate-do we learn that you can obtain victory without fighting. Karate-do is a way of life, not a game. Karate-do has a very high target, it teaches to the people that in daily life the only way to win, is together with others and not against others. In Japanese "hito" means "man" and it is written /\, two lines that seems to stick together, to point out that each man leans to his neighbour, and he will fall if this support is taken away. It seems to point out that human being can go ahead only through cooperation and not fighting. I think that
the two teachings are completely different, you can't do both, it depends on what you want in your life. I think this point must be understood, it's not difficult.

A short time ago I sent to José Patrão an abstract entitled "Winning without fighting":

"It is my belief that competition in karate shows to the students that if they want to win, the only way is fighting, instead in karate-do we learn that you can obtain victory without fighting. Karate-do is a way of life, not a game. Karate-do has a very high target, it teaches to the people that in daily life the only way to win, is together with others and not against others. In Japanese "hito" means "man" and it is written /\, two lines that seem to stick together, to point out that each man leans to his neighbour, and he will fall if this support is taken away. It seems to point out that human being can go ahead only through cooperation and not fighting. I think that the two teachings are completely different, you can't do both, it depends on what you want in your life. I think this point must be understood, it's not difficult."

It was not meant simply as a response to everybody who practice competitive kumite. I am convinced that those who find this type of practice fun should follow their feelings. Although I can see nothing wrong in this, but I think they should admit that it has nothing to do with Master Egami's concept of karate. What I wrote expressed my ideas about life, which were formed above all by the discipline and practice of Master Egami's karate, and before that of Master Murakami's karate.

I began karate training many years ago. At the beginning, as always happens, it was just a question of emulation, an experience which gradually turned into knowledge. And now I am beginning the process of understanding. I have realized that the process of understanding only started once I began moving together with my partner in natural movements. I believe that training is a process of self-knowledge that happens through relationship with others. Initially I only experienced a conflictual relationship with others, as I was not able to get along with myself, let alone with others. In spite of all my good intentions, this approach turned into confrontation during training. It's normal that it should be like that.

I think that the journey that karate represents is an extraordinary one. Everyone needs to train incessantly with great commitment, humility, and patience, and have total trust in his teacher, in order to grasp, each in his own way, the meaning of this wonderful discipline.

When we decided to start practicing karate, we chose to discover through our bodies the relationship between us and others, and between us and nature. We only understood this further along in our journey. At the outset, our wish was to strengthen our bodies and our minds, and only with time did we realize that we were not doing it to subjugate others.

We exist thanks to other people, we could not live by ourselves, and we should be grateful for sharing our lives with them. When we think about happiness, we should also think about that of others trying to put ourselves into other people's place. It is just because we put ourselves into other people's place that our training and practice lead us in the direction of the understanding of the highest victory, it is then that we become one with our partner and we win together without fighting. In training we need to get along with our partner, to become one with him, to really imagine ourselves in his place, feel exactly what he feels, and experience what he does. If we cannot do this, it will be very difficult to achieve harmony with our partner solely through technique, and everything will inevitably become a question of domination over each other, that is something different from the way of karate that Master Egami has shown us. His way leads us towards that "hidden world" where confrontation, opposition, conflict, duality and submission vanish to be replaced by words such as welcome, accompany, deflect, dissolve, union and harmony.

I believe that we should preserve the teachings and principles of Master Egami through our understanding, through changing and improving ourselves. We need to improve our ability to interact with the world around us, with others and with nature. Master Egami left us his testament in his book "The Heart of Karate-Do", previously published as "The Way of Karate: Beyond Technique". It is not necessary for us to change techniques. If technique changes through the years, it will be because we have changed ourselves, because what we want from life has changed: to build a new kind of existence together with others or inevitably against others. Then the gedan barai that we execute will be able to accompany the partner's energy towards its dissolution without disturbing or damaging it, otherwise it will break his arm. We have been used to concentrating energy on one point and consequently also our attention is focalized in one point. It is desirable that each of us investigate and discover the perception of a state of globality, a "wide-ranging" attention that includes the focal point of technique and the whole partner. In this dimension, which is neither solely physical nor solely mental, technique is not concentrated only on the point of contact, but irradiates through the whole body of the partner.

It will depend on what we wish to get out of technique, and technique will always mirror faithfully what we are in the precise moment of its execution. We certainly cannot be different from what we are, nor can we teach what we have not understood, but through training and the commitment to understanding the words of Master Egami we can improve ourselves and thus contribute, each one in our own small way, to building the image of karate that Master Egami wished to spread to new generations: "A training of the spirit that leads to harmony, through training of the body."

Thank you.

October 2003

 

 

Enzo Cellini

 Texto/Text: © Copyright, Enzo Cellini, 2003

 

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Up ] Karate-do como Defensa ] Karate-do como Auto-defesa? ] Karate-do: hit and avoid being hit? ] News About my Death... ] Notícias acerca da minha morte... ] Noticias acerca de mi muerte ] Institutionalisation and Competition in Shotokai ] Institucionalização e Competição em Shotokai ] Institucionalización  y Competición  en Shotokai ] Ensino de Karate-do Shotokai a Crianças ] Enseñando karate-do shotokai a los niños ] Teaching Karate-do Shotokai to Children ] L'insegnamento del Karate-do Shotokai ai bambini ] Vitória sem Luta ] Victory Without Fighting ] Vencer Sin Enfrentamiento ] Shotokai Karate Budo's Enciclopedias Online ] Shotokai Karate Budo’s Online Enciclopedias ] Le Enciclopedie Online dello Shotokai Karate Budo ] Diversidade Técnica e Valores Comuns ] Technical diversity and common values ] Differenze tecniche e valori comuni ] A prática Shotokai é Multiforme ] La practique Shotokai est Multiforme ] Discurso do Presidente da ASP ] Karatecas de todo o Mundo ] SIM-Objectives,Logo and Program ] SIM - Inscr. ] SIM-Questions&Answers ] SIM-particip ] SIM-Conclus ]


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