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Reasons for beginning to practice Karate-do vary depending on individuals. Some start by being encouraged by friends, some begin it because it seems interesting. Their purpose for joining Karate-do might be to improve health, to improve physical strength or to search for spirituality. Whatever reasons or purposes they might have, they are appreciated and I heartily hope that Karate-do will be widely practiced.

I am sure that many old masters of Karate, especially Master Gichin, Master Egami and Master Inoue would expect that “do” (as in Karate-do) will expand broadly and continue to progress. Practice Karate and you will find the purpose of the Karate-do. You don’t have to think seriously about Karate-do - just keep on training.

The reason for the establishment of Egami Karate-do is evident. IT is to learn the “do” through experience. To do this is to accept the real existence and phenomena of the universe, to accept heaven and earth as they are and to live naturally as human beings.

Why do we have to practice to be as we are? Human beings are born innocent and ignorant, as we grow older, we come to have misconceptions or many misunderstandings because we encounter things for the first time and make judgments based on emotion rather than facts or genuine information. Egami Karate-do is like a signpost that shows us how to throw away our misunderstandings step by step and takes us back to nature. Egami Karate-do makes the route clear and shows us how to reach the “do” by practicing Karate.

Karate is a fighting skill that we seek after we apply it in desperate battles. Furthermore, Karate is a martial art using only bare hands though we fight with our whole body and soul. It was developed in Okinawa where people were prohibited from owning weapons. Karate is, at the same time, a flexible martial art and we can make use of any tools around with no restrictions.

I think how we face an endless desperate battle is basically the same as how we live our lives. One who understands this principle can behave in a fight with same mindset as in everyday life. There is a saying that Byojyo-shin kore do or “to have a relaxed mind is “do”,” and the person who attains this should be called the person of enlightenment of the “do”. Though it seems easy with words, we can never reach enlightenment with just one jump. Therefore, in Egami Karte-do, the various steps necessary to reach the “do” are established like in Zen. Zen seeks can attain enlightenment through training led by
a master.

(1) The first step of Egami Karate-do is to learn each Karate technique precisely one by one.

(2) The second step is to be able to apply them freely according to a counter partner’s movement in Kumite (sparring, but it is not fighting. Need to decide an attacker and a receiver.)

(3) From the third step the practice focuses more on one’s state of mind. One tries to move the body in accordance with one’s change of mind. In the third step, you practice sublimating yourself and aligning your mindset to the counter partner’s mind.

(4) In the fourth step, we train to become united with heaven and the earth, rise above self (no refuse each other), united with your counter partner (you=me, no difference between you and me, so you plus me is not two, it is ONE.)  

These four steps are a rough explanation of the exercises at a dojo (place where the “do” is physically practiced). Keep in mind that each step consists of several procedures. If you keep practicing each step while following your instructor’s guidance, I am sure that you will reach the “do”.

It goes without saying that it is necessary to seek the “do” way of life even outside the dojo. The effort that you make to live your life inside and outside the dojo is the way of grasping the “do”.

There is nothing in Egami Karate-do that impedes your life outside a dojo. Since you can definitely live “both sides” of life concurrently, keep on practicing without urgency.