Karate Kumite and Clint Eastwood?
Karate Kumite and Clint Eastwood, I never thought I’d say those two things in a sentence. In the movie ‘The Outlaw Josie Wales,’ Clint lectures some sissy pioneers about how to get mad dog mean when you’re fighting for survival. There is truth in his statement, but there is, especially if you are involved in classical martial arts training, a lie.
The lie is that emotion increases your desire to win. To understand this, and other things concerning emotion and the martial arts, we have to define what, exactly, emotion is. The odd thing is that if you look in a dictionary you will not find a good definition.
Emotion is not ‘mood,’ or an ‘instinctive state of mind,’ and that sort of definition tells us nothing. So consider this definition: when somebody is unable to accept reality he/she creates a mental turmoil that is emotion. That’s a good one, and I know because I made it up, but we have to look deeper if we are really going to understand emotion, it’s value, and how to handle it.
The Neutronic definition for this concept called emotion is: ‘Motion inside the mind.’ You get angry, and in your mind you want to make motion towards somebody (hit them in the head with a hammer). But it is all in your mind, and, though that can be used, it is also a little less than real.
When you strike another person, would you put energy into your knee? That would be a waste of energy, am I correct? What you want to strive for, as a martial artist, is to put energy only into the fist, or the foot, or the body part you are striking with.
When you put energy into body parts other than the one(s) being used you are being inefficient. This same concept holds true for emotion. Energy put into emotion is not energy put into the desire to win; to win it is best if we increase our desire to win, and we need to get mad dog cool and determined, not extra angry.
Emotion is not to be discouraged, for emotion is a handle by which we can read others, release our own feelings, experience love, and that sort of thing. However, emotion in a fight can inhibit a person’s will to fight. When it comes to Karate Kumite you must increase your desire to win without falling into emotion, or trying to use emotion in any way.