ASIAN martial arts, when practised to perfection, have the ability to transform any mere mortal into a lethal and highly self-disciplined weapon.
One of these art forms, karate, was developed after the Chinese introduced a similar self-defence art into Japan as part of a cultural exchange.
Hands and legs move in quick and controlled sequences which, after years of training, can become deadly.
Not one to shy from my Asian heritage, I decided to try my hand and, incidentally, my entire body at the Japanese martial art.
After two lessons, you might say I’m far off from being life-threatening.
Lucky for society, karate does not encourage violent behaviour outside of the training room, known as the dojo.
In fact, karate itself is quite a beautiful art form that urges self-control, a healthy desire for perfection and excellence, and most importantly, a strong sense of etiquette.
During my first lesson, I noticed every karate student made a point of bowing when entering or leaving the dojo, when reciting the training hall rules, or the dojo kun, and when showing respect to a fellow student or instructor.
Bowing communicates the highest respect for the art form and for the dignity of your component or training partner, and the wise teacher patiently guiding your extremely weak first moves.
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