The legendary founder of Shito-ryu said:
“Karate is a lifetime study.”
– Mabuni Kenwa (1889-1952)
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The 3-Step Formula of Karate Mastery
“Mastery” is a big word.
If you practice Karate, you should strive for it.
In every punch, kick, block and strike – move towards incremental mastery.
To me, that’s what makes Karate so fun! There is always something to improve.
But…Is there any secret formula for this lifelong process of mastering Karate?
It’s called “Shu-Ha-Ri” in Japanese.
Step 1: Shu (“Follow The Rules”)
The first step to mastery is to follow the rules.
Do EXACTLY what your sensei says!
Follow the lines.
Copy the forms.
Imitate the moves.
At this stage, your only job is to observe and memorize what you are being taught.
Step 2: Ha (“Break The Rules”)
Now you’ve arrived at step two.
Once you have memorized important details, forms and techniques, you need to STOP thinking about them.
You stop thinking.
You just react.
This is what people often refer to as “muscle memory”, because your techniques have transferred from your relatively slow & heavy conscious mind to your fast & instinctive subconscious mind, through gazillions of repetitions in the “Shu” stage.
Step 3: Ri (“Make The Rules”)
After you’ve slavishly “followed the rules” (Shu) and rebelliously “broken the rules” (Ha) it’s time to masterfully “make the rules” (Ri).
For example, cooking food with a recipe:
At first, you follow the recipe exactly (Shu).
But when you’ve memorized the recipe, you don’t use it anymore (Ha).
Eventually, you start freestyling, substituting ingredients according to your own taste, creativity and feeling (Ri).
You’ve just “mastered the dish”, using the 3 steps of Shu-Ha-Ri.
And here’s the coolest part:
Now everything begins again!
Because learning never stops, my friend…
This is the essence of Shu-Ha-Ri.
Now go master Karate.
I believe in you. #martialarts