Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Karate: Pure Raw Potential

A few posts ago I discussed the meaning of Kara in Karate and the Zen concept of 'Emptiness is Form and Form is Emptiness'. I would like to add one more thought to this for you to chew on. I am going to try and keep this plain and simple, because it is one of those concepts where the more you say the more you sound like a raving lunatic. So, if you have questions about the following just send me an email or call.

Here goes:

Emptiness in the Japanese psyche can also represent 'Pure Creative Energy'. It can be thought of as a source of pure energy that creates form. When a thought is present within emptiness, emptiness then begins the process of creating form based on that thought. You and I are the result of a thought. If you just look at yourself or another all you tend to see is form. But because their is form, there is emptiness, because without emptiness there can be no form.

An example: When we say a gun is empty of bullets the common thought is that there are no more bullets. To use the 'Ku' or 'Kara' meaning of emptiness is to say that the gun never runs out of bullets. Because of Kara there is always the pure potential for more.

To think of Karate as Empty Hand, is to see that the Hand is empty of a true form and has the raw potential to take any shape it needs. The Hand is Pure Raw Potential (emptiness) to take the shape of the situation, whether you need to shape a fist, a palm heel strike, a knife hand, a spear hand, a one finger poke, a grab, etc. Emptiness is form, form is emptiness is to understand that the hand can be like a 'shapeshifter'. All you have to do is 'intend it' and the hand takes the form you desire...this comes from thought placed into emptiness. It becomes form, yet it is still emptiness.

Now ponder how this applies to your greater life other than just Karate and why it is so important to discipline your mind.

You are form and emptiness...your are emptiness and form. You are Pure Raw Potential.

Take Care,

Sensei Dave

1 comment:

  1. What a great entry. Jen and I are encouraging our students to take a look at your blog and read through the posts. Many of the topics are directly the same things/lessons we talk about in class and you offer a great perspective on them. You have a gift in your knowledge and ability to share some of the aspects of the martial arts many students find elusive. Looking forward to more!