The First Rule of Karate Is: FIRST, Right Your Heart

In the acclaimed film series The Karate Kid and its TV sequel Cobra Kai, we learned that the first rule of karate is: Karate is for defense only. The second rule is: First learn rule No. 1.

BUT, that is not quite right, at least not according to the calligraphy scrolls that are supposed to be the source of wisdom for Rules No. 1 and 2. In reality, Rule No. 2 literally says: First, right your heart.

In this episode of our YouTube channel, The Lion’s Roar, we explain that righting your heart is a foundational Confucian command. Confucianism believes that an individual must work on perfecting himself internally before he can achieve success externally. As such, a fundamental step to internal improvement is to put your heart in the right place, making sure you’re just and virtuous.

This Confucian command applies in life as well as in martial arts. So let us remember to first, right our hearts.

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