I recently stumbled across an interesting article about karate and its origins. The heart of the article focuses on how the main point of karate is not the physical aspects, but the character building that occurs along the way. This quote from the article sums it up nicely:
"Character is the goal. Karate training is simply an excuse for developing character. Blood, sweat and tears are to form the character of the student. Karate is a means to an end.
Character is not one of the benefits of Karate training. It is the goal. Without it, there is no Karate, only athletics."
You can read the full article (which I highly recommend) here. I found it was a refreshing reminder of why I enjoy the karate training so much and why I am thankful to have found a dojo where this character building is truly emphasised by the sensei.