Editor’s note: The following is the author’s preface from The Karate Consciousness: From Worldly Warrior to Mystic Master, available from Amazon.
I began my martial arts journey in 1967 with the Tracy Brothers Kenpo Karate organization in San Jose, California, eventually reaching a 5th Dan Black Belt rating in their system. I also achieved a 1st Dan Black Belt rating in Ed Parker’s Kenpo Karate system, having studied with their organization for a time.
Having fallen in love with martial arts, I opened my own studio–The Karate Institute of America–in Mission Viejo, CA, in 1979, and began developing the Kiado-Ryu System of Martial Arts. Defined, “Kiado-Ryu” means the family (Ryu) of the KIA (Karate Institute of America) way (Do). I have been teaching professionally ever since.
Throughout my fifty years of martial arts experience as both student and teacher, I have come to realize that it is one of the greatest vehicles for integrating the body, mind and spirit. Too, it offers an incredibly powerful opportunity for elevating one’s consciousness to remarkable heights if one focuses not just on the fighting/mundane aspects of the art but also on the elevation and edification of the spirit and consciousness. Hence, the subtitle of this book: From Worldly Warrior to Mystic Master.
The gifts of martial arts training are endless. As I mention in The Black Belt Book of Life–Secrets of a Martial Arts Master, “Martial arts is life.” No truer statement could be spoken. Everything in martial arts has a direct correlation with life itself. Aside from self-defense skills, here is a partial list of the life principles karate has to offer: balance, personal responsibility and accountability, reliability, individuality, humility, respect, strength, courage, confidence, will power, flexibility of body, mind and spirit; adaptability, discipline, control, concentration, creativity, patience, perseverance, persistence, determination, devotion, dedication, consistency, coordination, peace, love, practicality, movement, memorization, dignity, nobility, generosity, graciousness, gratitude, forgiveness and common sense.
Consciousness can be defined as the sum total of our knowledge, thought, understanding, awareness, perception, feeling and intuition. Basically, consciousness is the composite of who we are. Through martial arts dedication and training, we can expand our consciousness to areas never before imagined and touch levels of reality we never knew existed. The ideas, thoughts and concepts of this work are offered in the spirit of sharing what I have learned in my karate life in the hope that they may help other practitioners in advancing and expanding their consciousness of life. Verily, all of us who practice martial arts are infinitely blessed with a gift of enormous proportions. Let us not betray it but fully embrace it.