Friday, July 24, 2009

How Do You Feel?

How do you feel when you walk into the school?
How do you get ready for class? What is going through your mind?

For me, every time I suit up into my uniform I feel FIRED UP. I MEAN REALLY FIRED UP.
I am focused on the lesson, and my energy level is at maximum. I feel like a race car on the starting line when we line up.

I work hard. Probably just as hard as you do.
I have a wife and kids that drive me crazy sometimes. Probably almost as crazy as yours do.
At the end of a typical day I am exhausted. The economy sucks; North Korea is scary; oil is too expensive; blah blah probably feel the same.

Still, my time at Kali Majapahit is for me. My time. I don't owe it to anyone else except me. I only share it with my training partners.
I don't go to make anyone else happy, or to fulfill an obligation to somebody who would be disappointed if I didn't go (except maybe Neal).
I earned it, and I want to make the most of it. Bringing my energy and focus to the lesson helps everyone get motivated to train hard, which again helps me get even more motivated - it is a positive spiral. Energy is an amazing thing. The more you give, the more you get back. Money, sadly, is not like that.

Years ago, one of my teachers told me about the importance of taking off your shoes in the genkan (entry hall) of the school.
He told me that when you take of your shoes, you should imagine taking off your life, the life you have outside, and placing it in the rack outside until the lesson is over.
We are all tired and stressed from our workday when we come to class (except maybe for Guro Fred!). It is fundamentally important that we leave that world outside.
Escape into the oasis of your life in the school, which is different from that. Be free. It is important training in achieving work/life balance that we force ourselves not to think of work when we train. Ours is a moving meditation. A study of zen will teach you that the smallest of actions have consequence and are part of our constant and endless journey toward perfection.

The lesson begins when you take off your shoes and put them in the rack. Do it well.

1 comment:

Dan Cosgrove said...

Very true. In high school, I dated a girl who decided to join my martial arts class because she was insanely clingy. She got pretty upset when she realised that I wasn't going to flirt in my karate class.

Definitely have to leave anything at the door.