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Well it has been a somewhat difficult Summer. First I broke my hand, then my PC broke, then my wife's amazing grandmother passed away, then I found out a friend's 4 year old grandson has Leukemia, then I found out my mom has been fighting breast cancer. Contrary to plans, I have not trained much this Summer...at least not in the typical way.
It has been easy to feel like my life is hard right now, but the reality for me personally is that with the exception of my "deformity" (that was the term used for my very poorly healed broken hand), it is the other people who bear the heaviest loads...but it is hard to feel like I'm looking around at so much work, and I'm not supporting like I think I should be able to...and the reflecting I've been doing always comes back to one idea: I've been lazy; I can do more than this if I focus and organize myself, and the people around me deserve my best, never mind the fact that so do I.
Finally made it to training last night. I only had time for the beginners' class, but yesterday it was apparent that was where I most belonged. I do my best to maintain my beginners' mind because I believe it keeps you humble enough to always learn new things, even within the old familiar things and I am often convinced my sub-conscious is more than willing to help with providing me proofs for the need of sufficient humility. We have a couple of newer students and at one point while training with one of them I said we were doing suwari soto kaiten while correcting him about his movement. As we're leaving, the instructor reminded us the name was ikkyo undo. So I confusedly dressed, trying to wrap my mind around it. As I drove home I kept picturing what we were doing and suddenly it hits me, "yup, of COURSE that's ikkyo undo."
I could feel my tight muscles the whole time through training; it was a struggle to actively relax (I was trying very intently! ) and the instructor had to remind me to settle my ki a number of times. Because I had been away for a bit, I was worried about how I would do. That we had some newer students made me feel obligated to perform in my responsibilities as a senior student, but regularly I was met with examples of my own incorrectness. At the very end of class a guest (with considerably greater experience than myself, I'm fairly certain) spent a lot of time correcting my technique and ukemi (tachi ikkyo undo ). It was humbling because I was pretty sure I knew what to do for my ukemi, but he didn't agree. I had a hard time understanding what exactly he was trying to get me to do at first (using some different terminology than I'm used to) and I began to get a little flustered. It probably didn't help that I was still thinking it was soto kaiten. The more I've thought about it the more I think I see what he was looking for in my ukemi, but whatever the case it was one more great example for my lack of training and was good practice for reconciling my mildly flustered state of mind.
It was work, but it was good. It was frustrating, but it was clarifying. It was some much needed misogi. Tomorrow I train some more.
Take care folks, and be excellent to each other.