The Twenty Precepts of Gichin Funakoshi – No. 12

‘Do not think that you have to win, think rather that you do not have to lose’

Everyone likes to win, but if we are never defeated we forget how to lose. When we think only of winning we lose our sense of humility and become arrogant. We see success as the only possible outcome – an outcome that is worth little because it is easily reached. When someone who wins all the time suddenly loses, they may forget what it is to be a good loser.

In Karate, the only real loser is the practitioner who cannot lose gracefully, the one who argues and stomps in competition if he or she does not agree with a judgement or gets angry with other students in class for having a better technique.

Losing is how we know we must work harder and put in more effort so that when we do win, it is worth more to us and we don’t take it for granted.

By Karly West

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