This book is for Martial Artists, who train their bodies and minds but have yet to find the spirit that lies deep within their art.
Martial Arts are brutal and deadly forms of fighting, however, they also contain the potential to go beyond the surface of skin and bones defensive and aggressive physical techniques by tapping into a well of emotional and spiritual energy that strengthens the physical motion, while elevating character and personal growth.
Most traditional Martial Arts schools contain Kata as part of their curriculum. A Kata is a dance-like pattern of fighting techniques containing specific hand and foot positions and movements, specific breathing patterns, vocalizations, and visualization of imaginary opponents. Physical, emotional and spiritual energies are generated, absorbed, redirected and projected. Kata is essentially a combat based energy management system. Students learn the Kata in a systematic approach where each progressing Kata is more difficult than the previous one. It takes many years to master all of the intricate movements and fighting strategies contained in the Kata.
These Kata have ancient roots containing advanced fighting techniques, fighting strategies and deep spiritual meaning. By passing through the various Kata of the system, a student gradually progresses through physical, emotional and spiritual states that ultimately provide a roadmap to becoming a fearless and compassionate human being; a person who can give freely, because he can fight and is not afraid of losing anything, including his life.
The rigorous training Martial Artists suffer through, as we learn to fight by mastering the Kata, elevates our character as we overcome our physical, emotional and spiritual limitations. The lessons we learn through training increase our compassion as we teach our juniors, who are themselves suffering through the training. By embracing and extending compassion we can end our own and others suffering, and make a positive difference in the world.
The purpose of studying Karate is not to learn how to fight. Fighting is only a means to an end. The purpose is to become compassionate. You must be fearless to be truly compassionate.
This is the promise and final end-goal of traditional Martial Arts and Okinawan GoJu-Ryu Karate and is sadly missing in the arts as practiced today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roy Kenneth Kamen has studied Karate since 1965. He earned his second-degree black belt in Traditional Okinawan GoJu-Ryu Karate and a first-degree black belt in Okinawan Kobudo from Master Seikichi Toguchi, a first-generation student of the founder of GoJu-Ryu, Grand Master Chojun Miyagi, in 1980. Mr. Kamen currently holds an eighth-degree black belt and trains with Chi-I-Do International in Chinatown, New York City under Kow Loon Ong (Kayo).
Mr. Kamen owns and operates Kamen Entertainment Group, Inc., a New York City-based Entertainment Production company with his wife and partner Marina Kamen since 1987. Kamen Entertainment Group has won over 140 top industry awards and produced over 30,000 radio, television, movie, music and live theater productions. Clients include: Verizon, American Express, Mercedes, Jet Blue, Kelloggs, Disney, Hasbro, AT&T, Sony, Priceline, Lancome. Kamen.com.
Mr. and Mrs. Kamen have been married for over 34 years and have three grown and successful children, all living and working in New York City.
Marina Kamen: Mrs. Kamen is a Grammy-nominated and Billboard-charting recording artist, as well as a composer, producer, director, commercial casting director, choreographer, certified fitness professional and mother of three. She has written and recorded over 450 original songs and produced commercials for television and radio for over 30 years. Mrs. Kamen’s original music catalogue, fitness video workout programs and podcast series can be found at HighEnergyFitness.com.
Kow Loon Ong: Founder, Chairman and Chief Instructor of the Chi-I-Do Karate Do organization. Mr. Ong has practiced and taught the Martial Arts for over 50 years and has branch Dojos in Trinidad, Puerto Rico and throughout the United States. Mr. Ong is a master of Traditional Okinawan GoJu-Ryu, Matayoshi Kingai-Ryu and Kobudo. Mr. Ong studied with Seikichi Toguchi, Shinpo Matayoshi, Peter Urban, Shoichi Yamamoto, Akira Kawakami and Zen Priest Reverend Sogen Sakiyama. Kayo currently teaches Martial Arts in the New York City Public School system and at the Chi-I-Do Headquarters in Chinatown, NYC. Chi-I-Do.net
Gary Gabelhouse: Gary Gabelhouse is a published author, world explorer and longtime student of Asian Martial Arts. He continues to train and teach Daitoryu Aikijujitsu and Traditional Okinawan GoJu-Ryu Karate. Gabelhouse.com. Gary’s writings and published books including his study of Mudra, Mantra and Mandala
Melvin Isidore Morgenstein, Ed.D. Columbia University Graduate School – Full Professor Emeritus.
Robert Mark Kamen, Ph.D. Screenwriter, Martial artist, and creator of The Karate Kid. KamenWines.com