It’s ironic that the world’s best-known karate master never existed. The much-loved Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies is the product of a Hollywood scriptwriter, and just one more example of how the public’s view of martial arts has more to do with fantasy than reality.
This isn’t always a bad thing. Movies can inspire people to try the martial arts and from the many, a few will stay on to discover what martial arts truly has to offer. That’s why, for the serious martial artist, a teacher who really existed is so much more inspiring than any fictional character can ever be. The reason for this is found in the Japanese word for teacher: Sensei – which means ‘one who has gone before.’ From the point of view of a student, it is always good to know that whatever hardships you may be enduring at the moment, your teachers has endured the same in the past.
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