Grow a Little Bonsai

The bonsai tree was made famous in martial arts circles by the movie “The Karate Kid”. Mr. Miyagi had a room full of these tiny, beautiful trees. A bonsai tree is tiny tree cared for by the gardener. You must prune the tree everyday to maintain its size and shape. Part of the gardener’s job is to give the tree shape or an artist quality. This makes each bonsai tree a perfect tree.

“The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower).” (

Do this same pruning and shaping with your Kempo techniques. Be your own coach by getting rid of your unneeded motions and habits. Also like the bonsai, train with effort and ingenuity. Find different ways to practicing your material. The bon or tray of bonsai contains the tree. This can be extended to training by practicing in different environments like sand, a building, forest and riverbed.

The steady and thoughtful practice of your martial arts material is essential to mastery. This mindset will transform you into a superior artist.

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