The Asian martial arts traditions have a rich philosophical history. Buddhism in particular is commonly recognized as having played an important historical role in the development of the Asian martial arts. Shintoism, Taoism and Hinduism are also considered to have had an influence. That being said, the Asian martial arts, like the Western combative systems, are physical disciplines. They just happened to develop in Eastern cultures . . . which would, of course, be steeped in Eastern religions and philosophies. Would kung fu have developed in the same way without the Buddhist or Taoist influence? Would karate have developed in the same way without the philosophical influences of its culture? Perhaps not, but answers to this question can only be speculative; educated speculation (I’m sure that some anthropologists at some point must have asked that question – I haven’t researched it), but speculation nonetheless.
Kingstowne Family Martial Arts (KFMA) adheres to the philosophy that the martial arts are a physical endeavor. The emphasis in KFMA classes is placed on physical development. Character traits such as integrity, self-discipline, courtesy, perseverance, courage, leadership and responsibility are developed through the process of training hard and working with classmates. Youth and child students are reminded of the following expectations at the beginning and end of each class:
Karate begins and ends with courtesy.
Actions have consequences.
We are responsible for our behavior.
We lead by example.
There is no excuse for bad manners.
~ Adopted from Shuri-ryu Karatedo with permission From Hanshi Ridgely Abele
A note from Oviatt Sensei:
Though KFMA does not actively promote philosophical or religious beliefs in class (our purpose is to train), no person exists / no people groups exist void of philosophical, moral or religious beliefs. Our beliefs form the basis for how we interact with others. Even those who claim to believe in nothing have stated a belief; a belief that nothing worth believing in exists – a belief in nothing. Over the course of the years I have become convinced that not only is there something worth believing in, but there is someone that deserves our belief. Read on if you dare.