Monday, December 19, 2005

Last Lesson of 2005

Yoshinkan tradition says this one is the hardest class of the year.
To me, these classes are really about how to overcome emotion in the dojo.

The hardest physical classes are often the best for cultivating the discipline over the self which is needed for excellence in life. When we see young students who display frustration, fear, anger, or other emotions in the dojo, or even when we see this in ourselves, it acts as a reminder that we must strive to master these emotions and not let them master us. It is in our nature to feel these things, yet discipline is what gives us control over them. With discipline comes willpower.

My goal is to have the same presence in class regardless of the content of the lesson. It is not to disconnect the mind or spirit from the body, but rather to rise high enough above it to unify. Too often our minds and spirits are slaves to the needs of our bodies, and we fail to reach a higher level. When I can do this, I will be one step closer to the invincible nature of the martial arts. This nature manifests in the law that "you can be killed, but you cannot be beaten".

Michael-sensei mentioned that after years of training he no longer has "good days" or "bad days" on the mat, meaning that his technique and presence have a consistent nature in the dojo. Martial arts and their techniques, physical or otherwise, surely must have a goal of consistency, and this is another imporant goal to focus on in 2006.

We have all come so far, but there is still such a long way to go.