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The practice of Karate is based on a crucial foundation: problem solving




Let's take a moment to reflect. Isn't the essence of martial arts in the ability to identify problems and provide adequate solutions?


Imagine: an opponent attempts to land a kick to your face. In a split second, you must analyze the attack, evade, and react effectively to neutralize the opponent. For example, stepping aside and countering with a kick aimed at the knee, one of many possible strategies.


In your discipline and practice, the challenges are constant.


Technically: your stance may be imperfect, your movements lacking in precision or power. Coordination, fluidity, balance, and flexibility are all aspects to be perfected. Even great flexibility can be offset by a lack of strength in your strikes.


In combat: each attack from an opponent is a challenge to be met, where every failure is only temporary, spurring the creation of a new response, a new solution.


Psychologically: the path to excellence involves sacrifices and resilience. Obstacles, such as defeats, injuries, or criticism, test your determination. It's tempting to succumb to discouragement, but commitment to the way of Budo means getting up time and again, without even taking the time to dust yourself off.


In relationships: Karate cannot be mastered alone. Your progress depends on interactions with your peers, instructors, mentors, training partners, and the environment of the dojo. Each interaction has a direct impact on your evolution.


This foundation, problem-solving, is thus a pillar not only for mastering the art of Karate but also for excelling in any form of martial art.


The Tiger's attitude, in the 5 animal forms of Psychoverbal Martial Art, is oriented towards possibilities and solutions


The metaphor of the Tiger in the 5 animal forms of Shaolin perfectly illustrates the attitude to adopt. The Tiger, with its focus on possibilities and solutions, is a model of proactivity. In its training, the emphasis is on strategies and tactics that lead to creative solutions, rather than remaining stuck in problems. The Tiger is a leader who moves forward quickly and confidently, making it the most proactive animal among the 5 forms of psychoverbal martial art. Adopting this attitude ensures a path of success, both in the practice of Kyokushin Karate and in any other martial art.


Success can also trigger problems


This problem-solving ability is also reflected in how we approach success and failure. In the face of consecutive victories, it's easy to get carried away by euphoria and neglect the strict discipline that led to these successes.


It's a classic trap of consumerism: being distracted by ephemeral pleasures and losing sight of our core values. In these moments, it is crucial to refocus, readjust your commitment to your Karate discipline or other martial arts, and reconnect with the principles that guide our practice.


Being centered in our body-mind in the relational field: "Aligning one's three centers."

The relational domain is equally crucial. Our progression in the art of Karate depends heavily on those around us. Coaches, mentors, training partners, and even the dojo environment contribute to our development. How we interact with them, the attention we pay to their advice and feedback, all directly influence our progress.


Participating in Karate competitions or knockdown events, for example, requires cooperation and coordination with a host of players. The broader your network within your discipline, the more you're exposed to diverse perspectives, varied challenges, but also potential solutions.


The diversity of Karate organizations also presents 'problems'


Some may take a more fundamentalist approach, imposing strict restrictions and seeking to closely control their members. Continuing the example I gave at the beginning of my previous article, these fundamentalist organizations clench their fists to prevent the bird from flying away. But by squeezing too hard, they end up suffocating the bird. Others, on the contrary, embrace a form of consumerism, offering a wide range of disciplines and experiences, at the risk of diluting focus and mastery of the art. Thus scattering their followers and preventing them from returning to their centers.


Politics, although often seen as a negative element, is intrinsic to the practice of martial arts. It plays a crucial role in maintaining discipline, respect, and order within a school or organization. Understanding and navigating this aspect of practice is essential for any serious practitioner.


In conclusion, understanding and integrating this principle of problem-solving is a major asset. It's not just about mastering techniques, but about developing a holistic approach that encompasses all aspects of martial practice. By facing challenges, constantly seeking solutions, and staying true to our values, we can achieve excellence not only in our art but also in our lives.


This is why the discipline of Karate is an art of living, not an art for killing.


Gaëtan Sauvé


"Walk the path of the Generative Warrior, a path of discipline, courage, and integrity, in quest of the Ultimate Truth - a profound understanding of yourself and the world, guided by the deep convictions of your heart."


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