The successful marriage between a sport, Karate and a tool, IKIGAI

What if this period of confinement gave you the courage to really do what you dreamed of?

Sometimes we dream of having a successful professional life, but we feel that we are trapped by injunctions for societal success. Which sometimes leads us to give up a part of ourselves. As if you had to make a choice between your professional life and your personal life.

Cyril Martins, black belt, 2nd Dan 段 of Karate found its way of life. After a few professional years in the Supply Chain, he swapped his office suit to put on the Karate kimono and thus live from his passion.

This balance makes more than one dream. He made this change following the discovery of his IKIGAI. Ikigai means « life path » in Japanese. It is a balance between what you love to do, what the world needs, what you can get paid for, and what you are good at. It is a personal development work that can take from a few months to several years.

The sum of his « vocation », his « mission », his « passion » and his « profession » is what is called the Ikigai.

It’s a very powerful job that allows you to really feel your place in society, to find your way.

And for Cyril, the discovery of his Ikigai led him to teach children Karate in Singapore where he now lives. His teaching comes from Gichin Funakoshi, who is considered the father of modern Karate. The latter was born on the island of Okinawa (Ryu-Kyu archipelago), in 1868, in the Yamakawa-Chô district. Then he went to develop Karate on Honshu, the main island of Japan. Cultured man and renown poet, he wrote several books. “Karate-Do: My Way of Life” (in English) translated into French under the name “Karate-Do, Ma Voie, Ma Vie” is his founding work. It illustrates in an exemplary way how this martial art gives us the keys to life. Life itself is a martial practice. So through the history of Funakoshi, it is the very history of karate and its evolution that we get to know.

Each practice ends with the Dōjō Kun which is an ethical code defining the physical and philosophical values of Karate.

Dō means the way. Jō represents the place. The dojo is therefore the place where we seek the way.

The Dōjō Kun is a code of ethics that defines the values necessary for physical and philosophical training in Karate. Young karatekas list out loud the following rules :

  • Seek perfection of caracter
  • Be sincere
  • Put maximum effort into everything you do
  • Respect others
  • Develop self control

These values are recited after a short period of mediation called MOKUSO at the end of the course.

I recommend the video below of the testimony of Cyril Martins who gives a lot of advice to make a living from your passion. You’ll see, it’s stimulating. This report that I filmed in Singapore also testifies the passion of Cyril Martins for this martial art which he teaches with dedication to accompany these young people towards an ethicallife.


Pauline Rouillé

/!\ Oss: « O » 押 means « push » or « eliminate ».

« Ss » or « su » 忍 means « to endure » or « to persevere ».

These 2 kanji together 押 忍 symbolize the ability to suppress one’s own emotions and to endure demanding training.


Go further (Book) :