|Karate-do literally means "The way of the empty hands". The way of Karate is more than just an empty hand fighting art though. It is a philosophy and a way of life. The way of the empty hands is also a way of unselfishness. One must put the well-being of others ahead of oneself.
In Karate, our training is said to begin with courtesy, and end with courtesy. Courtesy and discipline are stressed and maintained at every stage of the training. The essence of Karate is not to defeat others, one must first overcome oneself. A Karate practitioner not only seeks to perfect his techniques, but also seeks to perfect his character.
Karate does not condone violence. Karate-do is a way of not having to fight. As we say in Karate: novices fight to win, masters win without fighting.
To some Karate is combat. To others it is primarily for show. Still others approach it as religion, a teaching device, a way to physical fitness, a sport, a self-defence system or from one of a dozen other possible points of view. However you choose to define it, the art of karate has many dimensions: it is at once mental and physical, artistic and grotesque, practical (self-defence) and non-practical (sport), violent and graceful, abstract and concrete, and scientific and animistic.
Karate is constantly in flux. Change is the arts most characteristic feature. No single man or women can comprehend the entirety of karate.