When a student trains hard in karate, the frontiers of their limitations are gradually pushed forward. Each time they are confronted, the practitioner will be at a more advanced stage of exhaustion. This continued discipline over a long period generates within the karate-ka a strong will.
Frequent training and adherence to the guide lines set out in the hand book, is in itself an act of self-discipline.
During training we are constantly subjecting our bodies to fatigue. As the body tires and the mind weakens, the urge to slow down or ‘cheat’ oneself rises. However the crushing of this urge is central to training. When one’s muscles are so exhausted that they feel like sponge, that is the point where every technique should be maintained at the highest level. The practitioner must keep pushing forward and it is at this point that the utmost determination is required to keep going. It is also the point of greatest learning, as the muscles are relaxed through exhaustion, and the body can move most freely.
However, the greatest challenge is during mental, rather than physical exhaustion – whether through work, or personal circumstances. We all reach a point sometimes when we are faced with a nearly overwhelming need to stop, not through physical, but mental, tiredness. At this point, the crushing impulse to stop will itself create a leap of mental progress, a sudden feeling of exhilaration as the mental weakness evaporates, and a burst of new energy and determination.
Editors Note: This article was extracted from the old Washinkai Spain website and contains some editing to make it easier to translate…