Karate develops discipline in the practitioner in a number of ways.
The first of which is the discipline to train on a regular basis. Just making the commitment to one's self to train on a particular day or at a particular time is the beginning of the development of discipline. When one is tired, it is easy to put off training to another day or time. Discipline enables the karateka to set one's self on a schedule and stay with it.
Another way in which karate develops discipline is by obeying the commands of the instructor. By doing so the gates to the student's mind are wide open to whatever the instructor teaches and transfer of knowledge to the student is unimpeded.
Discipline commands the student's attention and therefore develops the student's mental focus by having the student focus on the karate drills and techniques. It is said one cannot lead until one can follow. In karate the same is true, one cannot teach until one can be taught.
Self-discipline is developed by the karateka constantly pushing their physical and mental limits to the boundary. This exercise in testing the limits strengthens the spirit and the body of the karateka. The instructor also assists in pushing the karateka to test their limits. This push often allows the karateka to reach new found limits and capabilities that may not be able to easily be reached if they train on their own. Once they reach these new limits with the assistance of the instructor, they are over time, able to push themselves to these limits using self-discipline. Life itself is full of challenges and obstacles. By utilizing self-discipline the karateka is better able to meet these challenges in life that are encountered. The challenges in the dojo that are met often times make the life challenges seem easy and in some case trivial by comparison. This allows challenges in life to be met with new perspectives and makes meeting or exceeding these challenges easier for the karateka. The development of self-discipline is key in making the karateka excel on the training floor and in life.
Karate by it's nature is a combative endeavor and the resolution and avoidance of both physical and mental conflict are it's goals. Karate discipline enables one the ability to avoid physical confrontation due to verbal attacks against one's ego. The karate student is confident in their physical abilities and does not need to prove them to protect one's ego. In a physical confrontation, discipline enables the karateka to react to a situation with appropriate force. A physical attack is met with the necessary force to neutralize the attacker. Discipline allows the karateka to abstain from the use of lethal force against a non-lethal attack.
In training, discipline allows the karateka to be in control when physical contact may be made either on accident or on purpose. Discipline prevents revenge on the training floor for physical contact that may have been made on accident or on purpose. Inflicting injury on a fellow student makes the school weaker as a whole by reducing the numbers of students and eliminating any future contribution that student may make to the group.
Discipline enables the karateka to become masters of their own body. The disciplined mind will make the body continue to fight or defend even when tired or injured. The disciplined mind will push the body to the limits of that the physical body can endure.
The undisciplined mind is already defeated in combat before the battle begins.