We teach Karatedo ("The Way of Karate").
The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.
-- Gichin Funakoshi, Godan (Fifth Dan Blackbelt), Founder of Modern Karate
Karate is about building the best possible You. That means becoming the best possible mom, dad, son, daughter, boss, worker, leader, follower, student, teacher, and community member.
We do this at the dojo by training hard, taking classes, studying techniques and polishing our form. We do exercises to get physically stronger, we hone our spirit to get mentally sharper, and we work together to support one another.
Sensei has often said that every pushup on the dojo floor is an opportunity to become more focused, every new self-defense technique learned is an opportunity to become more empowered, and every fellow student that we help learn a difficult subject is a chance to hone our compassion and understanding.
At the dojo, we use the physical parts of karate to make our mind and our hearts stronger. And we use the focus of our minds and the great spirit in our hearts to make our bodies stronger.
Yes, we do lots of push-ups. And we practice self-defense. And we learn kicks, punches, blocks. We practice sparring, we do kata. We meditate. But in the end, all of these things are just tools -- tools that we use to become better.
Karate is an amazing exciting journey on a path that quite literally never ends -- karate is about "constant polishing", and there's no final destination that says "Stop! You've become the best possible person you'll ever become. Work no harder, go no further."