Author: Miromotto Musashi
Review by Sensei Brian Chmay


Centuries ago, in feudal Japan, the Samurai was a prominent in society. Although they mastered many weapons, the katana (sword) was most often the weapon of choice. The edge of the katana was sharpened to a razor's edge and was designed to dispatch the opponent with a slicing motion. The Samurai trained diligently, learning to block, parry, thrust and slice for during battle there was only time to react, not think. A split second's hesitation might cost them their lives. All their blocking movements were done automatically and their concentration was on slicing their opponent.

The Karateka of today trains very similarly to the Samurai of yesterday. As a kyu belt we must learn and practice our stances, blocks, kicks and punches. As a Black Belt we must strive to perfect all the moves and techniques we have learned so that we may perform them without any conscious effort. Then we must concentrate on "slicing the opponent". Now the emphasis of your training will change from a physical aspect to more of a mental and spiritual aspect. You must now concentrate on striking (slicing) our opponent. All other thoughts such as "What if I miss?" or "What if my opponent does this?" must not be allowed to interfere with your concentration on striking. This loss of concentration may just be enough to let your opponent get an advantage. Confidence in yourself and your training will ensure that your opponent will not easily get the upper hand on you.

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