I am too old to find a “sempai” in my dojo; and for other reasons too. Nor am I big into Martial Arts movies and the ideal decorum of old master/young student – calling it a mentor relationship is quite appropriate.
I may have 2, or 5, or 10, or 15 if I am very lucky good years of physical ability in front of me & I intend to make the best of whatever is in store for me.
One of my goals is to attain shodan or more… but I will have to take it one day at a time…
However, I do not want a “discounted” journey; I want “the real thing” – I want to be able to say and know that I earned my kyokushin (or Enshin, Ashihara, Kudo, or whatever style it will be in the end.) black belt; I want to earn it amongst people I respect and have earned the respect of – I want the unforgettable experience that I read from shared experiences; I want the trials and the pain and the discomfort and the challenge and the push beyond my own boundaries and limitations.
I want to test myself and be tested and rise to the occasion.
I want to be able to train with and learn from and teach to my 3 sons that are studying karate in France.
I need guidance and support; if only to help me understand what I am now in a position to expect (due to my old decrepit age – not quite, I am only 46 after all. …and the unbearable lag between my body and my mind – this is true!). Left alone, I see myself competing with strength and agility when I am possibly only trying to catch up… I need someone that will tell me the truth, without malice and without fear.
I want the tight code and spirit that kyokushin has imprinted into my soul long ago & I want to hang around people that share these values. I want that for my sons too.
I want to teach and share and bring a new generation to age and maturity.
I want to be an example for my peers to follow.
I am not the least disillusioned, even if my faith in my fellow humans has somewhat taken more color shades with time.
And when my time will come, I want to welcome it, content, not having to beg for a few extra hours to do these things I’d postponed!
This is what I want; this is who I am…
The above was first published on Kyokushin For Life forums, at the very start of my considering engaging in my worldwide Karate Journey; the following list of “expectations from their own karate journey” were extracted from the responses on the forum:
- To physically get in shape.
- To conquer a part from my past.
- To regain who I am.
- To grow stronger.
- To find peace.
- To maintain a level of fitness and self-discipline.
- Because I am scared of becoming an old fat and weak geek.
- I’m afraid to die without knowing what it means to be alive
- I hope my journey never ends! Through this life and beyond!
- I want o learn all I can about martial arts
- Because it is fun, and life is about having fun and feeling satisfaction. If martial arts stop being fun, I’ll probably quit.
- I want, to enjoy myself in what I am doing
- I thought basic training pushed me hard, until i started Kyokushin
- It is an expression of who I am now
- The “rewards” get more simple and subtle
- I want worthy challenges and I want a workout that I enjoy; Everything else is a bonus and there are plenty of them.
- I just like to kick people; I love contact – I am a contact person.
Whoever said or thought that Kyokushin was not spiritual?
At this stage, someone justly remarked that all the entries so far deal with goals that are spiritual in nature; not spiritual in a religious way but in a self improvement sort of way. No one has mentioned (yet) that their martial arts journey is about self protection. This colored the discussion with a different shade.
- A beginner usually joins for self-defense or being a better fighter; most have moved beyond that.
- It’s easy to overlook the original reasons; we actually become preoccupied with “self improvement”.
- It has always been about the journey rather than the goals; I prefer my journey to be ongoing and ever changing.
- Once a door opens and I enter that room, my journey changes and a new direction arises with new adventures in learning.
- Self-defense is not my main interest, it is important and practicing with self-defense in mind does keep it real and keep karate from degenerating.
- I can find a way to not freeze out of fear when something happens; sort of a “mental self defense”.
- It is about challenging and bettering myself; I think it does better prepare me for some situations, but these are unlikely. What is certain though is my next encounter in a knock down tournament and that is what I train for.
- I have already gained so much both mentally and physically.
- All the improved health, respect, honor, and discipline is just fringe benefits to punching people in the organs until they go “bleh” and fall down.
- I just enjoy the journey and am not bothered about the outcomes; I just do martial arts for kicks!
And you, Dear Reader, what are your expectations from your journey through life? Please share with all of us in the comments below.