This week, on September 21, the world celebrates International World Peace Day. Interestingly enough, we can take part with triple punch repetitions and partner work, as the art of karate promotes the way of peace.
The mission of the JKA is to promote “world peace by spreading the spirit of Japanese martial arts which respects courtesy to countries all over the world”. Through training karate, we promote peace in camaraderie with others and harmony in ourselves.
Karate connects people of all types around the world; it is practiced in every country, by men and women, of all economic classes. The world karate community is truly diverse! We have the chance to share in this community when we attend training camps and tournaments or welcome visitors to our dojo. We are a sort of ambassador for our region or country, developing friendships, promoting understanding and exchanging ideas.
Practicing karate, on an individual level, promotes internal and external peace. We exercise mindfulness in karate which is a type of ‘meditation in motion’. We perpetually strive to perfect techniques, kata (forms), and kumite (sparring). This endeavor develops self-discipline and promotes harmony of mind, body and spirit.
This intention extends to our interactions with others. Karate begins and ends with courtesy. We start class and begin partner training with a bow, a sign of respect. The dojo kun (school precepts) guides us as well to be at peace with others: “respect others” and “refrain from violent behavior”. Beyond the dojo, we carry this practice to interactions with others in our daily lives.
The triennial JKA World Cup, too, which recently took place this August in Ireland is held to “promote the correct dissemination of Karatedo throughout the world and contribute to world peace based on the teachings of Gichin Funakoshi”. With 58 countries represented by 1,350 competitors, this event fosters international fellowship and excellence in karate, as our New Orleans events can, too.
Every training and every day, we have the opportunity to develop our character through karate to become more confident, disciplined, respectful and peaceful people.
Happy World Peace Day! If you are interested in learning more about karate, please explore our website or our dojo: 706C Phosphor Avenue in Metairie.