Sterling W. Sill said: “Our future success will be determined by what we presently think. Physically we become what we eat, but mentally, spiritually, socially, and morally, we become what we think. Napoleon Hill wrote a great book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’; we can also think and grow wise. We can think and grow faithful. Being a great thinker does not require us to think only original thoughts. All of the greatest thoughts about love, beauty, faith, kindness, and success have already been thought again and again. As we rerun them through our own minds, they will produce an increasing rate of return.”
The thoughts that pass through the mind are responsible for everything that happens in life. As the thoughts are, so is one’s life. To make changes in life it is necessary to change old thinking and replace it by positive thought and insight. Using the power of thoughts effectively can be termed “practical daydreaming”. The power of thought is creative. It is possible to train and strengthen it. Visualize a perfect scene of whatever you want to accomplish. Put as much detail and imagery into the mental image. Revisit these mental images often and accept the positive outcome and they will come true because the mind does not know what is imaginary or real. It only knows what we think and believe. Thoughts that pass through the subconscious mind influence actions in accordance with these thoughts.
Training individually and in the dojo during class enhances our ability to think, develop positive thoughts and capabilities. As training is started the student is often hesitant because what is being taught is foreign and new. Fundamental skills are taught and practiced in each class. This repetition of foundation skills is not unique to traditional karate training but it has been lost in many dojos, schools and the work place because the emphasis today is placed on being fast without much emphasis on proper technique; getting the product done to make money is more important. With the proper foundation, the advancement through higher skills is found to be less stressful and combination of skills is also understood with better insight. We must first learn the movements and the proper direction in which the kata or sparring drill is done. Then breathing correctly, inhaling while in transition and exhaling while blocking or attacking, is necessary for power to eventually be developed. Next an added component to breathing is the Kiai and methods to tighten the body, adding strength and power to the techniques and focus of power at the appropriate times. As understanding of the possible meanings for each move (bunkai) and combination of moves is developed, timing is also heightened so the moves in kata may be used in kumite and self defense applications.
As is evident in this brief thought, proper traditional karate training may last a lifetime and still be challenging and exciting. If one strives to understand each aspect of the art, individual successes will be experienced. These successes will also transfer into daily life, which is an added benefit to proper training.