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Seek perfection of character

At the beginning of every class we recite the Dojo Kun. For the rest of this year we will be working on “We Karate-ka shall seek perfection of character.” Master Funakoshi wrote “The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant.”

There are many aspects to seeking perfection of character that involves many different attributes. The purpose of this specific exercise is the extending of one’s own self to the helping of others. Helping others can range from opening a door for someone (a gift of time and effort), donating blood (a gift of self, a gift of life), calling an elderly relative just to chat, or simply calling a friend or writing a letter. The possibilities are endless. Many of our students already reach out and help others (volunteering at the library, donating to charities and tutoring comes to mind).

For the parents of our younger students, this is an opportunity for them to do something age appropriate (mailing a letter or drawing to their grandparents or an aunt or uncle). We are not looking for hours of community service, but simple gestures of thoughtfulness. The actions and gestures that we do have an impact upon others.

If this exercise is something that you or your children can not take on at this point of time, that is fine. This is not a mandatory exercise.

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season.

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