· „Animals are not muscle bound; why should a man be? Pliancy and flexibility are natural characteristics of the human body; rigidity is the mark of death. Beginning with the warming-up exercises and continuing with the fundamental stances and techniques, the student can learn to preserve that pliancy and flexibility and at the same time develop his natural strength, agility and coordination.”
· “The karate practiced today is quite different from that of forty years ago, and the number of styles now is said to total nearly one hundred. Many schools send instructors abroad to propagate their respective techniques. While it can be aid that there are certain groups in the United States and Europe that, with the objective of understanding the soul of the Orient as a means of counteracting the impasse arising from materialistic civilization, place emphasis on the spiritual side of karate, the sad truth is that many styles teach only the fighting art and neglect the spiritual aspects. And the practitioners themselves, who offer lip service to the spirit of the art, have as their real objective the winning of matches. They speak of fostering an indomitable spirit, which in itself is praiseworthy, but we have to think of the results if this spirit is improperly used. As in the case of a hoodlum or madman wielding a knife, gun or other weapon against innocent people, the results could only be disastrous.
The present situation, then, is that the majority of followers of karate in overseas countries pursue karate for its fighting techniques, and it must be admitted that the proclivity to engage in combat is no less common in humans than in other animals. It is extremely doubtful that those enthusiasts have come to a full understandingly of Karate-do.
Gichin Funakoshi was an advocate of the spiritual aspects of Karate-do and placed much greater emphasis on this than on the techniques of fighting. Moreover, he always practiced what he taught. If he were alive today to see what is happening to Karate-do, what would he think ?
Those of us who are adhering strictly to orthodox karate as an art of self-defense must do all in our power to see that it is practiced in the proper way and that its spiritual side is understood to the fullest extent.
· „In our physical movements, there are those that are natural and others that are not. Through the practice of Karate-do, we can learn to differentiate between the two and also learn to acquire natural movements. We also learn of the power that nature endowed us with and how to use it, for a man has a great deal of hidden power of which he is not aware.”
· The ideal of Gichin Funakoshi, who has come to be recognized as the „Father of Karate-do,” was to advance from jutsu („technique”) to do (the „way”). It became my mission to realize this ideal, but here again questions arise: What is the meaning of „from technique to the way ?” Through what kind of practice can one attain this ideal?
Karate-jutsu or Karate-do ? The distinction between the two must be clearly grasped. Karate-jutsu must be regarded as nothing more than a technique for homicide, and that, most emphatically, is not the objective of Karate-do. He who would follow the way of true karate must seek not only to coexist with his opponent but to achieve unity with him. There is no question of homicide, nor should emphasis ever be placed on winning. When practicing Karate-do, what is important is to be one with your partner, move together, and make progress together.
That karate has come to be identified in the public mind as an „art of homicide” is indeed sad and unfortunate. It is not that. It is an art of self-defense, but in order to attain its benefits, the practitioner must be completely free of any egotistic feeling.