I found the reading in "Karate-Do, My Way of Life" both fascinating and informative. To see through the eyes of the person who made it possible for us to be practicing Karate today was a glimpse into what Karate is supposed to be. In many places today Karate practice is bogged down in punching, kicking and how powerful an individual is in the sparring ring. Karate is so much more than that. Karate is compassion, kindness, balance, patience, strength of character, humility and the willingness to give until nothing else can be given.
My favorite section in Karate-Do is the section titled Against a Typhoon. This section is from the perspective of an author, and the author is describing a scene in a small Okinawan village. A typhoon has struck the island, as happens often, with large branches being ripped from trees like twigs and dust and pebbles flying through the air enough to sting a mans face. But, in all of this, there is a man standing on a roof wearing nothing but a loincloth and holding a straw mat. He lowers his posture into that of a horse stance, and holds the mat aloft into the wind. The man is using the typhoon to refine his horse stance and to strengthen his body and mind.
This section brings to mind the timeless story of many versus nature. The man on the roof is battling the very wrath of the storm and is prevailing against it. Though he has fallen many times, he continues to rise and scale the roof, returning himself to the fight with nature. This indomitable will i believe is the sprit of Karate. As I have heard Master Oliver say, "A black belt is a white belt who never gave up."