Monthly Archives: August 2015


Blacksmith-AnvilBy Garry Parker

The hardest steel is forged in the hottest fire.
The impurities that weaken the blade are quickly consumed.

When times are tough, and you are far away from your comfort zone, remember that no worthy weapon was made without first being heated and beaten into the pure steel that becomes the warrior’s blade. The process of forging by fire purges the impurities…it burns the weakness to ashes, revealing only the pure, hard steel.
In our lives and in our training, there are times when we struggle; we can take the easy way and give up, or we can press forward and learn how much stronger we have become.  I am no different than you, in that I have struggles, challenges, and personal issues. This year has been particularly trying with a roller-coaster of highs and lows both personally and professionally. When faced with some of these challenges, the weak will give in, give up, and lose hope. The strong-willed will persevere, and ride out the storm, triumphantly emerging stronger than before.

As a dojo, we have experienced growing pains; these growing pains bring better and brighter opportunities, but they also have snatched many out of their comfort zones.  The strong-willed have endured and grown even stronger in both spirit and skill. The weak have become a fading memory.

We would all love to rocket straight to the top of that proverbial mountain as we pursue our personal goals on the path of Budo with; we don’t like to be sidetracked, detoured, or disrupted. We aren’t particularly fond of dips, potholes, and roadblocks in our path. Yes, a straight, and wide path, would be wonderful..wonderfully uneventful, and wonderfully boring. How then can we, as karate practitioners ever expect to be truly strong without first enduring the hardships that shape and form our indomitable spirit.

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For more content like this, check our Garry Parker’s top-selling book: Chanpuru-Reflections and Lessons from the Dojo.

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