Traditional Karate-do
Federation International

Saito-ha Shito-ryu Karate-do


Five Sights of a Karate-ka

Karate balance comes from seeing things correctly. The first is the "naked eye" or sight that sees nothing but what is placed right in front of you. This is the lowest form of vision. The second is "neutral perspective", or being able to see the forest for the trees", or from a detached or less self-centered perspective. The third is "interpretive sight", or being able to understand the implications of the things being observed, thus producing a deeper level of vision than mere physical eyesight. The fourth is "compassionate eye", or a view that does not take feelings or actions as right and wrong but a view to present what has greater value. In a disagreement, the karate-ka sees the views of others only as alternatives, and he is able to see which of these alternatives has the most value to society, thus able to persuade others to accept the best choice. The fifth is "law sight", or God's perspective. This is the highest sight and comes from understanding of Biblical scripture, faith, and acceptance. An example of all of these sights may go something like this:

You are running late for an important karate training session. You get on the freeway and it is bumper-to-bumper with traffic. The "naked eye" sees that you are going to be extremely late and that you are going to be a big disappointment and terrible impression to your sensei, guest instructor and your fellow students. You step on the pedal and frantically weave in and out of traffic to gain a few precious minutes. The "neutral perspective" sees the possibility of being stopped by a cop and earning yourself a ticket, but you still try to hurry to get to the clinic on time while cautiously keeping your eyes on traffic and the side and rear-view mirrors. The "interpretive sight", however, does not let your desire to make a good impression cloud your judgment. You realize that driving with haste may endanger yourself as well as others. You also think that others may be going to the clinic as well and thus you are not too concerned of being late. The "compassionate eye" goes together with "law sight" and sees you already at the clinic, waiting for the others to show up. You have already taken into consideration that the traffic might be heavy and left in ample time. In this way if traffic was terrible you would have arrived on time; if traffic was not you would have arrived early. Either way, by seeing things correctly, you were able to act more responsibly allowing you to be prepared for the clinic as well as writing a prescription for others to take in order that they might see.

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