This book is for Martial Artists, who train their bodies and minds but have yet to find the spirit that lies deep within their art.
Martial Arts are brutal and deadly forms of fighting, however, they also contain the potential to go beyond the surface of skin and bones defensive and aggressive physical techniques, by tapping into a well of emotional and spiritual energy that strengthens the physical motion, while elevating character and personal growth.
Most traditional Martial Arts schools contain Kata as part of their curriculum. A Kata is a dance-like pattern of fighting techniques containing specific hand and foot positions and movements, specific breathing patterns, vocalizations, and visualization of imaginary opponents. Physical, emotional and spiritual energies are generated, absorbed, redirected and projected. Kata is essentially a combat based energy management system. Students learn the Kata in a systematic approach where each progressing Kata is more difficult than the previous one. It takes many years to master all of the intricate movements and fighting strategies contained in the Kata.
These Kata have ancient roots containing advanced fighting techniques, fighting strategies and deep spiritual meaning. By passing through the various Kata of the system, a student gradually progresses through physical, emotional and spiritual states that ultimately provide a roadmap to becoming a fearless and compassionate human being; a person who can give freely, because he can fight and is not afraid of losing anything, including his life.
The rigorous training Martial Artists suffer through, as we learn to fight by mastering the Kata, elevates our character as we overcome our physical, emotional and spiritual limitations. The lessons we learn through training increase our compassion as we teach our juniors, who are themselves suffering through the training. By embracing and extending compassion we can end our own and others suffering, and make a positive difference in the world.
The purpose of studying Karate is not to learn how to fight. Fighting is only a means to an end. The purpose is to become compassionate. You must be fearless to be truly compassionate.
This is the promise and final end-goal of traditional Martial Arts and Okinawan GoJu-Ryu Karate and is sadly missing in the arts as practiced today.
What others are saying:
"Karate: Beneath The Surface is a work of uncommon honesty and self-discovery. A refreshingly candid examination of one man's journey to understand the spiritual that lies beyond the implicit violence of Martial Arts." - Robert Mark Kamen - Creator of "The Karate Kid"
“Kamen’s work is not the judgment of a Martial Master on the techniques and applications of Kata and Karate. Rather, it is a personal narrative about a spiritual path of Kata that is transformative - growth gained, not by infusing new principles or concepts, but rather, by uncovering sacred elements that have been within each of us from our beginnings.” - Gary Gabelhouse - Karate Student, World Explorer, Published Author
"This is an extremely honest account of one man's journey through karate, and the discoveries he has found along the way. Packed with first-hand accounts, it will cause those who read it to question the true purpose of kata within their own karate practice." - Garry Lever - Jissokan Goju Ryu
About the Author:
Roy Kenneth Kamen has studied Karate since 1965. He earned his second-degree black belt in Traditional Okinawan GoJu-Ryu Karate and a first-degree black belt in Okinawan Kobudo from Master Seikichi Toguchi, a first-generation student of the founder of GoJu-Ryu, Grand Master Chojun Miyagi, in 1980. Mr. Kamen currently holds an eighth-degree black belt and trains with Chi-I-Do International in New York City.