From my very dear friend, David Mott. (Who swore a few years back that he would never communicate via email or use the dreaded computer for anything but work!)
The modality of fear is a cornerstone of some of the the teachings of self-defense. To be sure, every human begins by being well centered in that condition. Karate, however, is a training that not only addresses the modality of fear but offers opportunities to free from that condition.
I recently read some statements from George Mattson who wrote that karate is a means of developing self-confidence. Confidence is one effective tool in mastering the enemy – which is fear itself.
At my dojo, Cold Mountain, mastering fear and its partner anger is the primary goal – not attempting to master external conditions. The mastery of fear allows one to be clearly present in any situation embodying the training that has developed through the repetition of drills, techniques, katas and sparring. These tools are embedded in training that is full contact – without padding. Real situations in real time. I have found that karate from this understanding is life enhancing, not death fearing.
The depth of training which upholds the traditional teachings of Uechi-ryu is demonstrable at Cold Mountain. The students continue to not only join but remain here, many now for as long as a decade or more.
Not only the seniors but the beginners recognize the value of the Way – the seniors continue to penetrate into the depth of the teaching holding their interest with intensity. The beginners are open and fascinated as they struggle to understand.
Over these decades I've watched as the core of the teaching has come alive in my students, invigorating their bodies, their minds, their very well-being as well as their lives outside the dojo – stretching them beyond limits they didn't even know they had. So I know what "traditional" Uechi-ryu Karate Do has to offer. I witness it daily – within and without.