Sixteen years ago, at the age of 40, after back surgery, I read that practicing Karate was an excellent way to rehabilitate your body; it strengthens and stretches every muscle and ligament.
Soon after, I was at a party where a friend was raving about a wonderful Karate school that her son had just joined. I took that as a sign. The following week, I went to the dojo (school), met the sensei (head instructor), explained my back situation and impulsively signed up for weekly classes. Sensei Steve was the consummate martial artist and teacher.
One of the sayings in Karate is, “on your journey, the first step is the hardest.” When I became a Karate student I received a white belt, signifying a clean slate.
I began a journey that I’m still taking, one that has steered me through four more surgeries and a divorce. Recently, I was awarded a second-degree black belt. (The black symbolizes the years of sweat, dirt and hard work.) Karate has made me stronger, more flexible and more empowered physically, mentally and spiritually.
Karate, which means “empty hands,” is an art of self defense that requires constant practice of kicks, blocks, punches , and forms (kata) that are very circular, graceful and fluid in nature – like water. (Of the four main elements of life: fire, earth, air and water, water is the most powerful.) You must practice these moves thousands of times: front kicks, side kicks, round kicks, crescent kicks, back kicks, hook kicks, reverse punches, back fists, spear hand strikes etc. until your muscles remember them instinctively, your body is balanced and your mind is clearly focused.
When you’re committed to the study of Karate you gain mastery over yourself and acquire the ability to handle whatever comes your way. There is a spirituality that promotes inner strength, peace and a connection with the universe. The mind and the body are working in harmony. Energy is created through your breath and focus. Not only are all your muscles engaged, your reflexes are sharpened and your awareness expands.
Becoming a martial artist takes time, commitment and perseverance. When you’ve reached your goal – a black belt – the feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming. But reaching the goal isn’t the only way to determine success; it’s the journey that is most valuable.
Learn more about Diva Toolbox member, Hollis Colquhoun on her website at http://www.financialsurvivaltools.com
Hollis is also the Author of “Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide”
and host of her own radio show on the Diva Toolbox Radio Network