Some friends at my dojo began a “challenge” of writing notes about what they are grateful for. I like that kind of thinking in this world that I experience as increasingly fractured, polarized, and coarse each day.
I am grateful that I get to go to my dojo and find a few hundred good decent people training hard to develop increasingly sophisticated levels of skill at handling dangerous confrontations (on the inside as well as the outside). I get to be surrounded by people elevated enough to understand that truly strong protectors say and do and think things that make the world a safer and saner and healthier place.
Sometimes I look at training halls that differ radically from mine in purpose and culture, and I see violent ugly confrontation being promoted and celebrated as their claim to fame. I observe stupid and boorish young men yapping and taunting anyone from the outside, being twisted further into an abyss of endless cruelty and ignorance. Those young men know no better than to relish the experience of bullying and being bullied as an addictive substitute for authentic manliness.
How fortunate I am to have a dojo full of friends who see as noble purpose the lifting up of others through an insistence on honest understanding of how violence works, uncompromising personal demands for ever advancing skill in dealing with violence of all types, and possessing bright hearts that celebrate similar advances among their training partners. I get to be surrounded by brightness, by hope, by diligent sweaty progress towards an almost impossible to reach ideal.
How fortunate I am to be able to call such days “going to work”. That’s one thing I am grateful for.
It truly is wonderful to “work” in such a way that helps others to grow in body and mind, and as you said in your book, “How To Own The World”. As they enjoy their “Ahha!” moment you can enjoy smiling from the experience too.
Thank you An-shu, for caring enough, daring enough, and bold enough to blaze this path, that we may now also explore.
I agree with Bill and am very grateful also because without your journey and writing of books long ago , I would not have come to understand truth about the mountain mystics of IGA nor would I have broken free from false misconceptions of the warrior mystics portrayed by actors…..tae dan hi ko mop sup nidda An-shu Hayes sir……..
I agree completely. I find myself sometimes training techniques in an aggressive manner and I am reminded of a teacher of mine (hint) who said “okay now you showed me you can fight but can you show me you can do it our way” I will never forget that because that was my goal when I started to move and think your way. Thank you Sensei and I will try.
It is nice to find a peaceful place to dwell in this World of static we live in as for me alone while training has been where I have developed the most skills and gifts .