Shorei-Kan Proverb Number Nine

Konbanwa, tomodachi.  Good evening, friends.  It is Ichiro again. We have almost arrived at the end of our journey.  This evening I come to you to talk about the ninth proverb: Do not become angry. He who is easily angered often loses courage at important moments.  There will be only one more proverb after this.

You may think that, in order to fight well, one must become angry, that one must raise the level of adrenalin in one’s body. There is nothing wrong with an elevated level of adrenalin, if it does not distract one from his focus. One only attains focus, however, through protracted practice.  You may have heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” I, on the other hand, have heard it said that perfect practice makes perfect. In any case, focus is a very important component of karate.

Anger breaks one’s focus, and it will blind one to his attacker’s methods. When this happens, one may receive an unexpected blow which will shake one’s resolve and erode one’s courage.  In a fight, each moment is crucial, and the fight may be won or lost in an instant. Each and every blow from a trained karateka can be deadly, maiming, debilitating, or incapacitating. So, you see, all moments in such an exchange are important, and one must not risk losing courage.

If one allows anger, or, for that matter, any emotion, to control oneself during a fight or where there is the potential for a fight, one has already lost courage and, therefore, the advantage.

Master Chojun Miyagi said, “Be calm in mind and swift in action.”


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