“Karate” translates to: “Kara” = empty, “Te” = hand, which you can now see is where the name of this Blog came from. Karate was developed as a weaponless self-defense system.
We train a lot of different things in Karate. Punches, kicks, knees, elbows, blocks, take-downs, control techniques, etc. And of course, hopefully this training is never actually needed and just becomes a way for self improvement. Through the awesome cooperation between students at the dojo just helping one another improve, we are in turn practicing the virtues that are associated with our art. We increase our Modesty, our Courtesy, we go out of our way to respect one another to create a safe place for us to practice a dangerous activity and grow our confidence and leadership abilities.
So we are learning to use our empty hands as self-defense weapons, to be used if needed to protect ourselves. But we are also using our empty hands to help one another. We use our empty hands to move someone to show them a better angle of attack, to demonstrate a better way to block, and to show them how to continually improve in their Katas.
What if someone falls to the ground, how would you help them up? Extend that empty hand and help pick them up. What if someone you care about is upset? Use your empty hand and put your arm around them. Hold the door open for someone, help someone cross the street, give someone a high-five when they do something well. There are so many ways to use our empty hand for more than punching and throwing. Practicing our virtues reminds us of this, especially this time of year.
In my opinion, the best self defense around is just being a decent person. Train hard and with intent! Thank you for your time