WHAT IS “DO” (DOAH)

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Kyoshi Gamini Soysa,8th dan karate(okinawa),3rd dan kobudo(Canada)

What is then this word “DO” (Doah) with which it has been the fashion since the end of the Middle Ages in Japan(around 1900) to add not only to all the Martial Arts, but also to flower arrangement, ceremonies(tea,dancing,games,chess, etc.) ?

It is the “WAY”, the unification of body and mind towards a more completely co-ordinated action. It is this “way” which is saught by the Yogis of India, the Ascetics, the religious and the philosophers. It is rarther like this “way”when you toss a stone(or coin) and it lands on the chosen target without previous thought on your part. Astounded by your skill, you try to do it again…………and the stone(or coin) falls a foot short:: too much mental concentration.

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The second time, your body was restrained by your mind and the two were united when you did it first of all, because you had a complete detachment regarding the result. This is very important aspect of KARATE which one finds again in japanese fencing, and which is impossible to describe in so few lines.Nevertheless, perhaps you have understood this “DO”(Doah) without which it is absolutely impossible to parry a genuine attack or to attack yourself.Also, that’s the exact meaning of KARATE-DO is “ATTAINMENT OF THE WAY THROUGH KARATE”. This why KARATE is at once a terrible weapon, a physical culture and mental education. It is also the most “balanced ” of all sports because the actions of all KATAS(forms) are executed on both sides, and in the KUMITES(sparring) one must become adept on both the right and the left , in front and behind, and in which one exercises all the limbs in all directions, in contraction as well in extension.

I should also like to assert that Karate is not a static study of attack and defence movements, but is on the contrary a genuine sport. A sport which has been perfected for 3,000 years, mostly of the field of battle. To imagine what is represented by 30 centuries of technical progress, think of the evolution realised in just half centuries of technical progress, think of the evolution realised in just half a century of boxing, where the Champions who originated the modern style are still living.

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