The Art of Karate may be analogized to three bottles.
First, when you learn a classical art, like Shotokan or Goju or Uechi…it is like crawling up the inside of a bottle. The closer you get to the top, the harder the climb, yet the more sky you see.
Second, breaking bottles requires a higher degree of skill and artistry. You must stand an empty bottle and chop at the neck. The angle of the chop and the construction of the glass make a break possible. Make sure you have practiced much before you do this, and be careful not to cut your hands. If you want a good example of this, just check out the first karate kid movie. Though it is just a movie, it does show the art.
Third, digging up a bottle is…an entire article. So simply do a search for the title of this article…’Digging through the Soil of Human Experience…and the Perfect Karate Punch.’ Guaranteed, it is worth it.
I like Karate as a first art because it is solid in the basics. Later, when you have experience, it’s fun to twist the basics, create different types of energy, learn sneaky ways of bashing somebody. But, in the beginning, Karate is the best. Straightforward power that can out kick a donkey, out slam a gorilla, and is just plain fun!
If I had not learned this as my first art, I would not be where am today. The basics, the foundation; a solid point upon which to stand, was essential to me as a martial artist. Few people truly understand what the basics are, let alone how important they are. Karate taught me all of this and I finished the program with confidence that I could apply what I had learned.
It’s true that people don’t understand what basics are. Take a look at the Pan Gai Noon Sanchin form. Goku does it for breathing, Shotokan does it for technique, uechi does it for dynamic tension…and they all are only partially right. Ground the weight, turn on the tan tien, and put the energy in the hands. The other theories are all right, but they miss the boat if they don’t concentrate on these three principles, and just these three principles.
Here’s a vid snip of me teaching Sanchin to my son many years ago. Karate was his first martial art, and it saved his life. Literally. Take a look at the columns at Monster Martial Arts and you’ll come across the tale.