Training
Views on Training



When you come to realize that a blackbelt is not as important as the practice itself, you are probably approaching the black belt level. When you realize that no matter how long or hard you train, there is a lifetime of study and practice ahead of you until you die, you are probably getting close to a black belt.

At whatever level you achieve, if you think you "deserve" a blackbelt, or if you think you are now "good enough" to be a black belt, you are way off the mark and, indeed, a very long way from reaching you black belt.

Train hard, be humble, don't show off in front of your teacher or other students, don't complain about any task, and do you best in everything in your life. This is what it means to be a black belt.
Kensho Furuya Kodo: Ancient Ways



First, since karate is a martial art, you must practice with the utmost seriousness from the beginning. This means going beyond being simply diligent or sincere in your training. In every step, in every movement of your hand, you must imagine yourself facing an opponent with a drawn sword.

Each and every punch must be made with the power of your entire body behind it, with the feeling of destroying your enemy with a single blow. You must believe that if your punch fails, you will forfeit your own life. Thinking this, your mind and energy will be concentrated, and your spirit will express itself to the fullest. No matter how much time you devote to practice, no matter how many months and years pass, if your practice consists no more than moving your arms and legs, you might as well be studying dance. You will never come to know the true meaning of karate.

You will find that training with a deadly seriousness attitude will over time benefit not only your study of karate but many other facets of life as well. Life itself is often akin to a match with real swords. With a lukewarm attitude towards life---such as assuming that after every failure you will always have a second chance---what can you hope to achieve in a short span of fifty years?
Gichin Funakoshi Karate-Do Nyumon



Each year goes by so fast, but no matter how quickly time passes, we must train harder, to polish ourselves, keep a strong and strict mentality toward ourselves and realize how lucky we are to be able to pratice so many times. If you faced yourselves strong and strict each time, you are blessed, but, if you didn't, don't wait. Start today, facing yourself strictly and honestly.

To polish means to face yourself straight, to recognize your weaknesses, to eliminate them, and courageously step forward. This action, experience, and practice is the only way we can improve and free ourselves of our mental blocks, so that someday we will really be able to express our strongest, most beautiful energy on the Earth. Then we can happily leave the Earth. I hope everybody feels this way.
Tsutomu Ohshima Notes on Training



Some young enthusiasts of karate believe that it can be learned only from instructors in a dojo, but such men are mere technicians, not true karateka. There is a Buddhist saying that "any place can be a dojo," and that is a saying that anyone who wants to follow the way of karate must never forget. Karate-do is not only the acquisition of certain defensive skills but also the mastering of the arts of being a good and honest member of society.
Gichin Funakosh Karate-Do: My Way of Life



We must be completely attentive..., always, at every instant.

The same thing is true in our everyday lives. Some people think about nothing but money because it is supposed to satisfy your every desire, so for money they lose their honor. Other people want "honors", and for them they lose their money. Some people have their minds fixed on love and for that they lose both money and energy. And yet happiness is never on just one side.

We must create our lives, free ourselves, become detached, simply attentive to here and now: everything lies in that.

"The moon's reflection on the surface of the water moves incessantly. Yet the moon shines and goes no-where; it stays but it moves." A very short poem on the secret of Zen and the martial arts, and also a great koan.

The stream never flows backward. The water slips past, past, past... but the moon doesn't move. In a contest the mind must be like the moon, while the body and time slip past, past, past like the water in the stream.
Taisen Deshimaru The Zen Way to the Martial Arts



Contacting Maryland Shido-kan Shorin Ryu Karate


Maryland Shido-Kan Shorin Ryu Karate

Phone: 410-562-1431
cmartialarts@gmail.com