A letter from Master Shigeru Egami, (1976)

( I published the first in a Martial Arts magazine in France in 1999)

Invited by Murakami, my friend and fellow karate, I traveled with him to Europe in the months of May and June. It was primarily recreational trip and moved me deeply warm way we were received by friends in the various countries we passed. I got memories. In fact, the game had been a little apprehensive, would spend a month in foreign countries, languages, customs and climates very different from mine, not to mention eating habits. All my worries disappeared barely gave the first steps in France. Greeted by friendly and welcoming people, we spent the first night in Europe in a luxurious apartment near Etoile, home of one of Murakami students. Moreover, there were housed during our stay, surrounded by all the sympathies in family atmosphere. Every day the companions of Karate, each in turn took care of us. Young and old, put it all will, without forgetting my Murakami friend who has long lived in France. I have no words to express my deep gratitude to friends, in which I felt true spirit of communion in the practice of karate. All this because I am karate practitioner? What is practice? What is Karate-Do? What is the Do "the way"? Among friends linked by the 'DO' there were no barriers, be they of nationality or, of course, professional or socias barriers. I had no impression of talking to foreigners who met for the first time. I say this and I write whenever I can: the practice is aimed at true communion of ideas, that is, we have reached a state of mind we feel the united body to another. The practice, say it always is to think, imagine and express the teaching of those who preceded us. Contact melee must create spiritual affinity and it will be picked up by your body and your partner's mind. In Dojo, this leads to make "sen" and express themselves in life for forgiveness and understanding. In Europe, I was greeted everywhere with this spirit, that by my side considered the final image of the practice in the life of every day. The practice is not just about exercises in the dojo. We have in the Far East (including Japan), a saying: "Soku Za Dojo" (Wherever you are and no matter when, makes every moment an exercise, each place a dojo). In this sense, it is the true European practitioners of Karate-Do, always faithful looking the way. I could watch the great assemblies and training in France, Italy and Portugal. First, I was impressed by the sincerity of the karateka. They'd look at the reflection of those seeking the truth. During a conference, I was moved by his ardent desire, so intense, to reach the truth. Regarding technical details, it is quite normal that the practice is not yet perfect. The technique can improve over time and with the advice. This is no fundamental problem. The main thing is the spirit, the attitude. What was the mechanism that led to "competition" to become the global trend, only the aim of fighting? I would like to meditate on the transformation of Karate from the "Yakusoku-kumite» to the «Jiyu-Kumite", from the "Jiyu-kumite» to the combat. And we find the best way to practice karate. This is not to compare: you need to find the best! For over half a century, the "Karate" of Master Funakoshi became the "Karate-Jutsu". Then the "Karate-Do", is today the Karate-Do world! Think again been the path and meditate but words of our Master: "The Karate-Do there is no fighting." To reach the absolute truth, we walk together to build the world over fighting. Let us do so in the sincere and ardent practice that will pave the way Karate-Do, not as a weapon of death but as life weapon.
Shigeru Egami


Karate Do Voie du coeur