Things to think about at the beginning of the year in the 3rd year of Reiwa
Japan Karate Association
Chairman Katsuhide Kusahara
Happy new year to all our members.
Last year was a year of being at the mercy of the new coronavirus. The Japan Karate Association has had to cancel most of the events. I think that all the members couldn't practice as they wanted and had some inconvenienced days.
The future of the new 3rd year of Reiwa is uncertain, but as human history is said to be the history of fighting viruses, it will continue to coexist while fighting coronaviruses for a while. It seems that the days of going on will continue. Under such circumstances, the Japanese social system is about to undergo a major change once every 100 years.
Humans cannot change their environment at will. Instead of accepting a given situation as it is and lamenting what you cannot do, you have to find and practice what you can do. The important thing is to think for yourself what you can do, devise it, and take the courage to take on the challenge.
Fortunately, karate is basically a non-contact martial art. Even if kumite is difficult, you can practice the shape. Moreover, you can do it alone. Taking advantage of this feature, it is important to continue practicing in your own way by taking advantage of online training while paying sufficient attention to infection prevention based on scientific knowledge. The place of practice does not necessarily have to be a dojo. In the teachings of Professor Gichin Funakoshi, there is the phrase "Don’t think that what you learn from karate can’t be used outside the dojo" ("Karate Dojo 20 Articles").
It is also important to take this opportunity to ask again what you are practicing karate for. Unlike the days when samurai were active as in the past, in modern society it is no longer possible to fight with bare hands in daily life. Nevertheless, we continue to practice karate. Why. This is because karate is an effective means of self-discipline and personality improvement for civilized people. It goes without saying that it is necessary to acquire scholarship and knowledge, but not only that, we must be "Bunbu and Budo scholars" who have the martial arts spirit of maintaining "justice" and serving "public". I am aiming for. It can be said that there is a meaning to aspire to martial arts, not just karate. The Japan Karate Association is practicing karate in accordance with the teachings of "Dojo kun" in order to move forward step by step toward this high ideal.
It is also said that the ultimate purpose of karate is to "overcome yourself." To be a person who can take control of himself anytime, anywhere, no matter how difficult the situation. For that purpose, it is important to control not only technology but also spirit. This is not an easy task. That's why karate is never complete. It is forever unfinished. That is why it is a lifelong karate and a lifelong martial art.
I hope that you will reaffirm these things at the beginning of the year, and then practice at a pace that suits you and try to keep your mind and body in good condition. And I hope that your dojo will play an important role as a place where you can work hard while staying close to each other without being isolated even in the age of social distance, supported by strong bonds between members.
We pray that the new year will be a year of bright hope for you at the end of the dark tunnel.
Originally published on JKA website. Translated by Google.