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Targeted Synapses

The benefits of karate are limitless and, at the same time, fixed and peculiar to each karateka. What may be of major benefit to one may be of marginal benefit to another. To articulate why karate is so important to me: I credit the practice of karate with keeping not only my body fit but my mind fit as well, keeping mind and body in touch. Kata helps to keep our synapses not only firing but targeted. Use it or lose it! 

What weíve been given is gold. But like many gifts, it may not be fully appreciated at the time itís given. USRKUSA, headed by Hanshi Scaglione, and all our esteemed shihan, is also gold because it keeps us together. The peer pressure motivating us to keep our skills honed is gold. Our coming together as a group in celebration of 45 years of training together is gold. 

The masters, our shinden, did not excel in a vacuum. They stayed connected with one another. There are romantic and philosophical ways of espousing the virtues of karate, but the fundamental value could be overlooked in doing so. Itís one thing to say that karate is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. Itís quite another matter (and not what those who came before us had in mind) to spend 90 percent of our time thinking about karate and 10 percent doing it.

 

The heroes among the shinden speak to this in the way they lived. They practiced, demonstrated and taught vigorously and did not slow their commitment because of age or occupation. In tribute to Chotoku Kyan, Shoshin Nagamine wrote, "His beautiful performance at the age of 73 could still exalt his audience to the quintessence of karate-do and leave them spellbound." Iím sure to all who witnessed this performance it was gold.

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