Karate as an Art
Karate, as it applies to the art, is the perfecting of the skills, application of techniques, and knowledge as designed by the originators of each individual style. Furthermore, just as good sportsmanship is important in sports, the spirit of martial arts is important in karate training. It is worthwhile to work toward the goal of becoming a total martial artist, not just a good fighter. As a craftsman strives to perfect his/her craft, so too should a karate practitioner persevere to continually better him/herself in the art.
The difference between sports and martial arts philosophy is that sports are practiced for reasons of recreation, hobby, or income, and the results are realized in victory or defeat. Karate is practiced for the purpose of self-defense and the results could be realized in life or death.