The ultimate goal of karate is to defend oneself and to avoid violence if possible. This can be paired with the dojo kun (dojo rules) of “refraining from impetuous and violent behaviour”.
Physically, a karate practitioner should only use their skills in self-defence and should not initiate an attack unless it is absolutely necessary.
Generally, most people understand NOT to use physical violence unless there’s no other way to escape the situation, and as one develops a greater level of confidence in their own ability, this evolves.
A more experienced martial artist has the confidence to communicate and remains calm in tense situations beyond where others with less confidence would, which often leads to a non-physical resolution.
The principle extends to avoiding mental & emotional violence. Bullying, gaslighting, manipulation, and verbal abuse such as name-calling and ridicule are all forms of attack and are all too prevalent in today’s world.
A karate practitioner should strive to maintain a peaceful and respectful demeanour in all situations and should, where possible, challenge undesirable behaviours in others.
Funakoshi Sensei has been quoted that this principal is an extension of the samurai principal of “A sword must never be recklessly drawn”.
In modern times replace the idea of “drawing a sword” with that of a “punch being thrown” or “calling someone a name” and you have a concise way of remembering and teaching this ideal.
If you are interested in learning more about karate, message us at JKS Edinburgh and start the conversation.