“Budo is a long, relentless journey. I was brought up with a strict academic upbringing, leaving little to no room for learning martial arts. It was only when I prepared for college that I would meet my Sensei and begin my training.
A little over four years into my training, I travelled to Japan to train for the first time. It was there that my Sensei promoted me to Shodan. Things mostly stayed the same after we got back, but I felt like a new man. But the cracks were already starting to show. My Sensei comes up to me after one practice and tells me he’ll be retiring from teaching. Being the only senior student left, I took over as instructor. There were good moments, but it was a couple years of mostly downs.
I found some spare time to branch out into other disciplines (Niten Ichi Ryu & Boxing), which I still practice today. Things were going great, we trained hard, and I found enjoyment in training again. While the Niten Ichi Ryu dojo is up and running now, we lost the initial dojo, and that one hurt too. I’d lost two places I considered home in such a short time, and my own dojo wasn’t doing great either. Eventually the norm was that I’d just practice alone for the 2 hour session and go home.
I think I have my stuff a bit more together now, with the support of many people I’ve met along the way. But it still feels like making up for lost time, trying to learn things I should’ve been taught, being disappointed in my own inability. But at the end of the day, I’m just an ordinary human like everyone else. I don’t consider myself noteworthy, skilled or gifted, but I hope one day, this life’s work of mine will help someone, somewhere.” @hakubaikandojo
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