Monday, August 16, 2010

Today's Post By Gichin Funakoshi Sensei

This is taken directly from the preface to Gichin Funakoshi's autobiography Karate-Do: My Way of Life. Funakoshi Sensei systematized Shotokan karate from many different indigenous Okinawan martial arts styles - the very name Shotokan comes from the pen name he used when writing poetry. Here he gives us some excellent health advice.

As I look back over the nine decades of my life - from childhood to youth to maturity to (making use of an expression I dislike) old age - I realize that it is thanks to my devotion to Karate-do that I have never once had to consult a physician. I have never in my life taken any medicine: no pills, no elixirs, not even a single injection. In recent years my friends have accused me of being immortal; it is a joke to which I can only reply, seriously but simply, that my body has been so well trained that it repels all sickness and disease.

In my opinion, there are three kinds of ailments that afflict a human being: illnesses that cause fever, malfunctions of the gastrointestinal system and physical injuries. Almost invariably, the cause of a disability is rooted in an unwholesome life-style, in irregular habits, and in poor circulation. If a man who runs a temperature practices karate until the sweat begins to pour from his body, he will soon find that his temperature has dropped to normal, and that his illness has been cured. If a man with gastric troubles does the same, it will cause his blood to circulate more freely and so alleviate his distress. Physical injuries are, of course, another matter, but many of these too may be avoided by a well-trained man exercising proper care and caution. Karate-do is not merely a sport that teaches how to strike and kick; it is also a defense against illness and disease.

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