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10th Anniversary

August 6, 2010

On 2nd August 2000, I had my first lesson in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

I still remember that we did muto dori (unarmed vs sword, already very difficult) and we used wristlocks (for which I had a huge mental block at that time).

It’s been one kind of journey. As I was just commenting to Alvin (Eastpaw) a few weeks ago, a lot of my life seems to be made up of wasting time being lazy about something and later panicking and trying desperately to make up for lost time. Bujinkan Taijutsu is inherently a difficult art to learn, and it’s too easy for me to get frustrated, think that I’ve made too many mistakes, wasted too much time and give up.

It’s also easy to forget all the progress I’ve made over the past 10 years or despise it. But that’s the martial arts journey, isn’t it? Inherently difficult and frustrating. Ego makes things worse, so I’ve got to learn how to forego the cheap fix (letting ego drive me) and go for the long term solution (bring the ego into submission).

Anyway, in spite of the frustrations, there is still something that keeps drawing me back to martial arts. I’ve recently started re-looking at the Kihon in the light of making them usable for sparring, and the shocking realization is that the changes are not large. They are very small (physically) and often involve looking for something hidden in plain sight. As I work through these I find my hands naturally moving back in mantis patterns (maybe I wasn’t as lazy at mantis as I thought, if I can remember the moves after so many years) and that gives me even more to work on.

Yup, the moves are new and fresh to me now. Trying to get them to come out smoothly takes a lot more practice, and it’s when I immerse myself into the practice again I forget my frustrations and remember why I started doing all these things in the first place…

So here’s to another ten years of practice, training, frustration and all that! Cheers! 😀


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