Budo The Martial Way and Bushido, the way of the warrior are parts of Japanese philosophy and history. Although interesting, they are beyond the scope of this book. I will however try to explain the relationship between them and Kyokushin. Kyokushin is a way of life, a way of living, a lifestyle, it's many things to many people. Bushido is a code of conduct, where discipline and moral values are of the utmost importance a total commitment. For the Samurai it was to his master, death before dishonor, when there is no fear of death then you are free, this is Kyokushin Karate a total commitment.
Karate has become very physical over the past decade, we have neglected many things, the moral aspects, discipline, respect, honor, manners those things that help make karate. Ki and tanden, because they are abstract are also ignored, anything that is to difficult to understand is pushed to the side, in favour of the easy way out. Deeper meanings of karate are important. Not whether we can kick high and be good fighters or how much wood one can break. The Black Belt in some cases is of paramount importance to people, I have been asked many times how long does it take to get a black belt. The answer is, go and buy one, it is not the color of the belt that is important but the person. Living a good life and keeping the morals and principles of Kyokushin and society are more beneficial. So we modernize it, in order to meet the requirements of our society. We do this by making the training a little easier. Not imposing strict discipline during training, not practicing the techniques that have been handed down over the centuries. Those we cannot use in tournaments for example, so what happens? We gradually lose those things that made karate, even attracted us to the art in the first place. So one generation after another loses something and we no longer have what we call karate but something else.
How often have you read advertisements for karate dojos stating that the instructor is a champion and in an interview that his biggest ambition is to be the world champion. Why is it that no one seems interested in just training and enjoying karate. I have nothing against tournaments, I have competed in a number of them successfully, but I have never lost sight of the fact that you are a champion for a day, next day it's back to the dojo. Will karate be in the Olympics? this is the question on everybody’s mind, at least while I am writing this book. In my opinion and I must emphasize it is mine, my answer is no. Apart from the fact I have stated that Kyokushin is not a sport, the Olympic ideal seems to be loosing its way. There was a time when I would spend hours in front of the television watching the Olympics, watching sportsmen and women battling it out. Now we hear so much about drugs and how much money has been spent that the original object of the games has faded, power and politics have taken it's place. I am afraid that the same would happen to karate. Perhaps we have lost our way a little, over the years, it's time to consider what we are doing and return to the Kyokushin Way. I do not imply that I have all the answers but I hope that my efforts in writing these paragraphs will stimulate those of you who are truly looking for an understanding of Kyokushin. Back up