I’m reading an interesting book at the moment. It is Ethical Warrior by Jack Hoban.
It is an interesting exploration of values, ethics and morals.
But at the end of the day, no matter how diverse in culture, no matter how diverse in relative values or morals, no matter every other thing that may be thrown in the mix, there is one thing that every human being values above all else:
Jack Hoban’s mentor, Bob Humphrey, was a conflict resolution specialist who averted many potential clashes between countries. The Life Value was Bob’s conclusion to which his work lead. The value of life that Bob leveraged in his pursuit of avoiding conflict was a dual life value: not just value of one’s own life but for others as well. In fact, in many cases, the value of the other’s life is actually placed higher than one’s own life.
Though this value is inside of every human being, it is still one that needs to be nurtured or it can die. That is why we focus a large portion of our messages to the children in Warriors of Grace Karate on encouraging them to put others first. As a baby is born into this world he or she naturally is totally self-centered and doesn’t even recognize that there IS another. It is a gradual shift as the baby grows and begins to know himself as separate from his mother and other family members.
By the time children can begin karate, they are ready to repeatedly be taught, in different ways, to pay more attention to someone else (parents and teachers) than their own desires and impulses.
In our current culture the SELF is given much weight and value. But the only way that the SELF can be truly powerful and accomplish anything of value, is to be fully self-controlled. Putting others first is a great way to not only learn self-control, but to nurture that dual life value that is implanted in all humans.
Karate is a great way to learn life lessons at any age. For the youngest, learning self-control largely revolves around learning to stand still and learning to put others first. Older kids learn self-control by needing to be precise in their movements and learning how to take care of their karate partners. Young adults may need to learn self-control when they are ready to begin sparring. As we age we need to learn to adjust to movements that are more appropriate to what our body can now do (and no longer do).
Though progress in karate is an individual pursuit, we are frequently working with others. At every age karate is nurturing that innate dual life value – the one that says taking care of my partner is more important than taking care of myself.