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Traditional Shotokan Karate-Do Institute
All of the components of a traditional training program promote what I have termed as the three dimensions of holistic growth. Through these three dimensions; the physical, mental and spiritual; one can grow and mature more completely, thus becoming a more productive member of society.
The first and most basic dimension of personal growth is that of the physical self. Through the training of forms and techniques, one gains several physical and physiological benefits. Physical activities such as weightlifting, swimming and other forms of exercise have been shown to bring about immediate and beneficial effects. The physical aspect of martial arts teaches integration of the mind and body, thereby promoting better coordination. Students are also taught to concentrate, focus and relax, bringing about a direct benefit to mental health and opening the door to mental growth.The second dimension of holistic growth is that of the mind. The mind is the connection between the body and the spirit. As noted earlier, martial art training promotes focus, concentration and calmness. By learning the self-defense techniques and overcoming the fear of being attacked, students build self-confidence and learn to resolve conflict with non-violent methods.
The third dimension of holistic growth is that of the spirit. Spiritual growth in martial arts does not entail adopting any sort of religion. Instead, it means learning the philosophies of martial arts so that one can live with the Do, or Way our martial virtue. The concept of the Do comes from the martial arts and is a combination of the words Karate (Empty Hands) and Do (Way). Do is something like a code of conduct that governs the use of martial arts in one's life. The concept of Do encompasses values like benevolence, respect, knowledge, trust and courage.
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