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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Karate Lifestyle

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

生活様式 Seikatsu Yoshiki meaning, “Way of living.” Add in karate [空手] and you get, [空手生活様式; Karate seikatsu yōshiki]

In our culture a life style is a typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture. A person seeking a particular lifestyle is one who is developing a way to live life. In our species of human beings that involves socially driven and acceptable lifestyles that make for the social cultural belief systems that promote security, safety, and overall survival along with our genetic disposition to procreate. 

Lifestyle can include interests, opinions, behaviors, and behavioral orientations of an individual, group, or culture; or any combination of same dependent on the needs and objectives of the group and individual members collectively toward the groups survival. 

It is and has been stated that, “Lifestyles are determined by intangible and tangible factors, i.e., Tangible factors relate specifically to demographic variables, i.e. an individual's demographic profile, whereas intangible factors concern the psychological aspects of an individual such as personal values, preferences, and outlooks.” -

Now, that is how it is perceived fundamentally regardless of group dynamics, culture, beliefs and hierarchal controls both implicit and explicit, this article is going to try to associate lifestyle to what I term, “The karate lifestyle.” 

A lifestyle fundamentally in karate or any martial art is about a social position, a way of thought as to philosophy, and the actions derived by the study, understanding and application of said lifestyle. Since we are all human and certain factors of modern times affects both social and karate lifestyles, a karate lifestyle also reflects people's self image or self concept; the way they see themselves and believe they are seen by the others. Our social dynamics in the dojo connect to the very same drives of our species toward survival and procreation at the bare essential cultural needs system that often drives everything else. 

This is where the article diverges from the general or basic or foundational aspects and drives into my personal karate lifestyle as an example of, “Just one way,” an individual must first adhere to that lifestyle taught by sensei then into the next stage where one compares, studies and creates their individual lifestyle until finally that lifestyle become unique to their beliefs and ways in karate to enhance, build, create and apply their lifestyle to their lives, their practices and their applications toward their socially driven lifestyle outside the dojo yet connected dynamically to that microcosmic lifestyle in the dojo. 

Now, first and foremost, karate or a karate lifestyle is not about fighting, combatives and no where near self-defense. It must be clear to practitioners that distinctions such as these are critical toward ensuring the practice, the studies, the understanding and especially the applications must be appropriate to the distinction such as self-defense. 

In my practice/studies I focus about 80% on the self-defense aspects with a foundation of fundamental principles toward the application of multiple methodologies and force levels, etc., for the application of self-defense - not just the physical but the entire spectrum as explained on NNSD ( and the books by Marc MacYoung, Rory Miller and other professionals (see bibliography).

 Since the principles, i.e., theory, physiokinetics, techniques (not what you think of as techniques), philosophy, self-defense and chemical adrenal effects, etc., are the mainstay I also spend a great deal of time with the more philosophical and theory of study toward understanding. Understanding, in any lifestyle and discipline, is that foundation the drives our logical and emotional maturity for understanding things like, anger for example, teaches me that anger is a very useful tool when controlled and a dangerous escalational effect when left to run on its own willy nilly. 

Anger when used properly and at appropriate levels toward coping with variables of life can be a true benefit so understanding that anger has its uses and understanding those uses along with understanding how to use them and when, etc., will be a useful anger tool. 

To understand something is to bring it forward and out of the darkness of emotional immaturity toward both logical and emotional mature ways and means to achieve objectives in daily living and no where else is that more pronounced then in disciplines where the mere practice and training exposes the practitioner to injuries and damage. 

After understanding I put in, “Analysis, Hypothesis and Synthesis,” as critical to understanding and knowledge that leads toward application in life as in the dojo as in life. Once you gain a certain level of experienced understanding, i.e., living life while experiencing and being exposed to the environment with its social cultural dynamics leads to experiences, that intertwines in a way that leads, like Boyd’s Loop, to a better construction in our mind of reality where we apply that understanding and experience as gained by study, analysis, hypothesis, synthesis and application to learn and create. A complex loop that can be one stream that branches off into two or multiple streams, i.e., karate/MA being the main stream branching off into self-defense stream, fighting (social and competitive) streams, combative (military professional, etc.) streams and then the philosophical (the way or Dao) stream. They are distinctly separate, often do not work together except in very basic ways, streams that require individual understanding with a commitment and ability to apply according to circumstances while adrenalized and able to not drop out of one stream to be influenced by the other and so on. 

Note: Very, very, very few can adequately apply more than one stream effectively although many try. 

The reason I do 80% self-defense and 20% philosophical is because to apply the one properly you have to have the mental/philosophical mind-state and mind-set so they are applied appropriate to any given situation that in and of itself is not just critical to SD but about the most difficult if you don’t live/work in that violent social dynamic. 

As you can perceive at this juncture of the article the karate or martial art lifestyle is a complex creation done through the training, practice and application of the discipline. There are so many ways and so many differences and so many applications that one can end up on any number of streams where knowledge and understanding are the absolute corner-stone of the entire structure where just one ingredient not proper or adequate will cause the entire structure to fall into a rubble of mortar, stone, brick, blood and lives. 

Meditate on this!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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