“Sense of Fighting” is an essential spiritual status of karatedo training that practitioners have to adhere to. As we don’t always have a real opponent in our karatedo training, it’s important that we “imagine” one in our practice. We train as though there is a real opponent that we have to beat. We have to condition our spiritual status to this imaginery fighting world, so much so that we accustom our mind to any fighting environments, be it real or not.
When it was first developed, the primary essence of karatedo lied in the fact that it was a very practical and powerful tool for combats in an unarmed fighting environment. Nowadays, karatedo has become popular as a sport. If it is performed without any sense of fighting, it would be just another form of conventional sport composed of empty movements. When we practise karatedo, be it Kihon, Kata, Bunkai, footwork, Kumite, bag hitting or physical exercises, we have to have our mind set in a real fighting environment (which requires a certain level of control). Only in this way can we restore the true essence of karatedo. If this is done often enough, our attitude in training will become serious; it would be a natural process for us to transform what we train into ability to fight in real environment when required. As a result, we will not only improve in Kumite, but also in Kata – we would perform as though we are really in a state of fighting; thus both the practical value as well as the aesthetic beauty of the art of Kata would be achieved. More importantly, the core value of karatedo would be preserved.
“Sense of Fighting” has proved to be a most effective training element in karatedo training. Practitoner has to bear in mind that: we have to see with our mind, feel with our mind and train with our mind. In this way, sense of fighting will be gradually developed as part of our natural disposition; it doesn’t only affect our karatedo performance, it also penetrates to our lives, and can be felt in our eyes and the way we carry ourselves – confidence and a sense of righteousness would be naturally manifested. Never force it to your facial expression, it has to come naturally or you would be cast with a negative destructive feeling with stiff movements.