To give credit where credit is due, the following observations stem from the saying of Ali, the commander of the faithful. The imam says, “ Everything has a foundation, and the foundation of Islam is love for the prophet and his holy progeny.” He also says, “Everything has a face, and the face of this religion is prayers.”
Karate-do also has a foundation, and the foundation of this school is finding peace through commitment, submission, and surrender of the self. It is the practice of the willingness to die before you die, to give up body, to have one and only one objective without reservation or hesitation.
The face of this school and what should be organically projected, is humility and the ever-presence of a beginner’s mind. It is the nurturing of deep reflection, the vulnerability to comfortably say, “I don’t know” and the ability to wonder, “what else can be true.” The face of this school is “shoshin”.
Whilst it may seem that the foundation and face of this school are antithetical…that “decisiveness” and “not knowing” are a paradox…it is in fact the very conundrum that makes karate-do so exquisitely felt by those who properly walk its path.