1. Breathe. In tense situations, people tend to tighten
up and hold their breath. Yet breathing helps connect the mind with the
body, calming both and adding power to your actions. In times of stress,
breathe deeply, exhaling tension and inhaling energy.
2. Recognize the importance of attitude. If you say, "I
can't," you won't.
3. Be courageous. It's human to be afraid, but you can control your fear. True courage isn't a matter of eliminating your fear, but doing what you know to be right despite your fear.
4. Make a commitment to your goals. Ancient samurai burned
their ships when they attacked distant foes, since knowing they couldn't
turn back enhanced their commitment to victory.
5. Treat everyone with respect, including yourself. While it may be worth ignoring bad behaviour from strangers, do not accept disrespect from people you deal with frequently. Politely bring the offence to
their attention and be clear that if they want to continue to interact
with you this behaviour will not be tolerated.
6. Be flexible. Emulate the willow that bends to the wind, but doesn't break. In adversity, adapt and overcome.
7. Stay cantered and focused on what's important to you. Don't let others sucker you into losing your focus, and learn to deflect an attack by disrupting an adversary's physical or mental balance.
8. Retain a "beginner's mind." This is a term Zen masters give to the humble state of always being open to learning new things.
9. Be positive. If you exude positive energy, positive things will come to you.
10. Seek to resolve conflicts without fighting. Reserve physical force as a last resort if you or others are in danger. As the founder of modern karate, Gichin Funakoshi, said, "To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill."
The true goal of karate is not learning to devastate attackers, but learning to master yourself.