13th , 2016
week's thought is from
Sensei Larry Link
Shine bright like a diamond
Think back for a moment to the very first day you stepped on the deck:
Eyes, mind and heart are wide open, uncertain, but excited about what you are about to do. Wearing a brand new gi, you pull the wrapper off your white belt and hold it in your hands not knowing how to put it on or tie it. Your sempai comes over and helps you do it.
You step on the deck, hear commands in Japanese, sit seiza, and begin a sequence of warm-ups that you will do many thousands of times again, the exact same sequence that has been done hundreds of thousands (no, MILLIONS) of times before and after this day by others who have come before you.
You step. You make a fist. You punch. You punch again, moving your arms in rhythm, back and forth, in and out. You are doing it! This is karate! - punching, kicking, stepping, turning - just like you imagined. The class is over. You are exhausted yet elated. You walk out of the dojo thinking, "Wow! I'm really glad I did that because now I know karate!"
You've only just begun. Instead of feeling like you know karate, you now realize how much you DON'T know. In fact, you know nothing (or almost nothing.)
And THAT is a beautiful thing because now, the real learning can begin.
Being shown the mechanics of how to do something is NOT the same as knowing how to do it. Knowing is NOT something that can be given to you, it is something that must come from within, and must be earned. It is a feeling which will transcend any thought or emotion. When we know, it is not just our mind that knows but our ENTIRE BEING that knows: body, mind and spirit forged into the harmony of knowing.
Hanshi teaches that we must POLISH our karate through repetition. But not mindless repetition. Like a master lapidary, you must select each facet of your karate and work on it individually, with great care and precision. When you step on the deck, THINK, BE ALIVE, FOCUS, and GIVE IT YOUR ALL. And if you do, a beautiful diamond will emerge with a feeling of clarity and strength like you've never experienced before.
SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND!
Arigato Gozaimasu Hanshi!