First Spiritual Training

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First Spiritual Teaching: 12 Day Routine – Gratitude

The 12 day routine consist of kata practice for 12 days in a row each morning repeating the same kata 12 times. It is important that the same kata is practiced each day throughout the routine in order to open the door for insight and gratitude. Non-karate practitioners can replace the typical karate kata with other forms. This routine takes approximately 45 – 60 minutes to complete depending on the length of the kata chosen. Many Sensei teach younger students that when practicing kata the student should complete the kata at least 12 times in order for learning to take place. It is in this spirit that the First Teaching is designed. Any less than this and the student will not consolidate even the basic elements of the kata teaching thereby preventing the cultivation of spiritual understanding. This level is considered the beginner or entry level teaching and is simply meant to move the student towards a sustained practice manageable to all. A sense of gratitude for having been provided with the essential teaching that enables one to improve the physical, mental and spiritual natures should be contemplated. As with all the training illustrated herein, it should be started before dawn so that the body can feel the energy of the new day. This training is available to all practitioners.

  • Preparation: Wake-up before dawn;
  • Meal Preparation: Eat a very light snack: light soup or yogurt;
  • Entrance: Enter the Dojo and bow to Shomen.
  • Spiritual Preparation: Complete Candle Meditation for 5 minutes as spiritual warm-up. Practitioners should meditate on the importance of maintaining appreciation and gratitude for their study and for the teachings being made available to them;
  • Physical Preparation: Bubishido Yoga Sun Salutations, circumambulations of the dojo or other routine;
  • Integration: Kata Practice – Same Kata repeated 12 times each day;
  • Completion: Candle Meditation and/or Corpse Pose for 5 minutes;
  • Exit: Bow to Shomen 3 times in gratitude and exit the Dojo.