Every sport or activity from basketball to quilting I suppose, has different sayings and slogans that become part of the inspiration to continue that activity and excel. “Just Do it” from Nike comes to mind, “Go Team Go” and stuff like that.
Martial arts is no exception, and there are all kinds of sayings that are used to encourage our training. One of those is shown in the kanji above, which reads “Nana korogi, ya oki” or “7 times down, 8 times up.” It is also often called “Indomitable spirit” or one who never gives up, and it’s a good saying! No matter how many times someone, or some thing knocks you down or sets you back, you’re going to get up, or get going one more time.
Maybe you’ve been trying to get your next rank in Karate, but you were passed over for exam again. It can be frustrating, and has caused a lot of students to give up and quit training. But not you – that simply motivates you to keep going and be fully prepared and ready for next time. That’s the idea of “7 times down, 8 times up”, and it could apply to a promotion at work, a tough course in school, a relational difficulty, or really anything that would try to knock you down. So like I said – it’s a good saying.
But here’s where it gets even better! Check out Proverbs 24:16. Here King David’s son Solomon wrote: “For a righteous man may fall seven times, and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity”
Sound familiar? Basically 7 times down, 8 times up, but so much more. Solomon is telling us that the wicked will not rise again, but the righteous will. And what is a “Righteous” person? A Christian, a person who is justified by faith in Christ. So what we understand from Proverbs is that through faith in Christ, no matter how many times the enemy attacks we need not be overcome – as we put our faith in Christ and stand in His strength, we can not be defeated! Now thats powerful!
And what I really like about all this is that it shows so well how rich, and deep, and practical the wisdom of God is. Because when you compared the two sayings, it’s easy to see how the supposed “wisdom” of man is at best just a cheap imitation of what God has for us in His Word in the Bible.
Truly we never need ANYTHING else!