Gichin Funakoshi, founder of Shotokan karate, emphasized that every practitioner must seek perfection of character. In order to accomplish this, it is essential to obtain a clear focused mind in pursuit of a mental and physical state harnessed for perfection. When learning and practicing karate, particularly as it involves both physical and mental tasks, one must first start with the mindset of discipline. In karate, attending to the work of the mind is a discipline that can be practiced both in and out of the dojo.
When training, it is crucial for the practitioner to reset the mind, essentially clearing it from any past or future thoughts. As with many great endeavors, one must set personal goals to accomplish in training. Being mindful of these goals is crucial as not adhering to them is like riding a bicycle in tiny circles to get to your destination. When away from the dojo, the practitioner can also apply the mindful practice of karate to one’s personal challenges of everyday life. Therefore, mental training should occur seamlessly with the physical demands of karate as it permeates all areas of a practitioner’s life.