Saturday, June 21, 2008

Beauty and Perfection

Although the term beauty in Western thought denotes something pleasant to behold, in the warrior mind it conveys a totally different message. To the samurai, there was no greater and glorious death than to give his life for the ideals of their master. Through meticulous, ascetic training, the warrior practiced to perfect their craft. By living a morally correct life and to value the rights of the impoverished was to live Budo.

In a sense, beauty and perfection become one to those aspiring to live in the way of Karate. By perfecting movements, one is able to delve in the deeper meanings of kata. Kata is the vehicle by which one attains discipline. Although Jiyu-kumite is an important tool to test techniques in movement, it is nevertheless one tool among many used in Karate-Do to enhance proficiency. The cogent point here is that as one's physical skills diminish with time, kata is the sole vehicle by which an aging practitioner can continually develop and perfect movements. A true understanding of kata and bunkai is a skill that takes a lifetime to master.

In the continual attempt to perfect self, a practitioner is able to delve deeper into the tenets of Karate-Do, and to transfer these qualities to everyday life. To seek perfection of technique requires diligent practice and a clear mind. As technical perfection is achieved, this state of perfection should transfer to every aspect of one's life. Because one seeks perfection of self, one should be kind and considerate of others; one should impact the lives of others, and most importantly, one should prepare for the hereafter continually. As one perfects self, assist in perfecting those whom you touch. The true sensei is not arrogant or selfish, but wants everyone to prosper physically and spiritually as they prosper. Bruce Lee said it best: "the keys to immortality is living a life worth remembering." Once our individual journey is over, if people still give credit and respect to how we lived our lives, then the journey was certainly a productive one.

Lastly, never fear the unknown. God, in his divine providence and wisdom, has left the door ajar for all who seek his divine plan. Giving one's life for the master is glorious and inevitable--everyone will experience death at some point; hence, the glorious death is universal. In the end, we all will leave this world as we entered it--alone and helpless. It is, in a sense, the same for western and eastern culture. To define God is a personal matter, and should be an individual choice. Whatever the choice, strive to perfect self and others. Live beauty and perfection to the fullest extent.

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