I’ve written several blog posts about Karate and its importance for character building in Papua New Guinea. In my view it is vital that kids to take up karate because of the discipline and respect it teaches.
This post, however, is prompted by an important Facebook post by Cosmas Saliawali.
Yesterday, he found before their training session, that the place where they train (dojo) had paint on the training mat (tatami) and buai spit on the walls.
While this may seem like a small issue, it is very disrespectful to have someone spit buai where training is held. It also reflects badly on those who used the venue.
Cosmas said: “The Dojo is our house… the house of karatekas. We respect the place as we respect ourselves. This is where our sweat falls. This is where our blood falls. This is where the spirit of Karate lives. That is why we respect this place.”
Traditionally, a dojo was not just a training hall or a school. It was a place where the teacher (sensei) lived and taught his students. It was a place you treated with the utmost respect.
The same rules apply today.
The dojo is a place you treat with respect. It is where the sensei teaches and where students come to learn.
While some may argue that those who used the hall were not karatekas, it should also be said that everyone should be treated with respect regardless of who you are.
Above all, the place where you live should be respected. The people around you should be respected. That extends outward to the community, the country and the planet.
Shotokan Karate like many other styles teaches a code:
SEEK PERFECTION OF CHARACTER
REFRAIN FROM VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR
It’s something we all should learn from Karate. It’s not JUST a sport or a martial art – it is about life and respect.