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The Old School Verses the New Martial Arts
Will I be able to do it all again?
We all sit in seiza. The Sempi of the group leads us all in rei to the sensei. We bow, and get up and all line up on the mat. We sit and start small wrist exercise or kote subori. When we are finished we move on to break falls. Lets see if I can remember, there is front break fall, side break fall, back break fall ..Dam it hurt then. How old was I? I aint telling but it was a little more than 15 years ago. We did Ukemi constanstly. For those who don't know, Ukemi is a breakfall, rolling breakfall. It has been so long since we have done them. I forget how to relax.
I waited for fifteen years to find someone as traditional as my Sensei Chuck Davis, who took me in and treated me like his own daughter and loved me and brought me through all the mental anguish I was going through at the time. It brought me peace. Since our dojo has closed, I trained sporatically in different arts. there was a karate place in Holmdel but he was so commercial and so many students it was crazy. I found that they werent teaching traditional or showing people what respect of the art meant. In my mind, I don't really care about what kind of art you train, but respecting the founders and illuminating what should be passed down to all students. I would constantly see disrespect of the uniform and of the straightening of obi and of the sensei, and I would even see some sensei that .... well let us just say they shouldnt be sensei.
For some years my son has been saying he wants to be a cop. He has said it now for ten years. I have tried him training in some of these other arts and from what I saw when I used to train and what I see in these other dojo's I just think they are watered down martial arts compared to what he should know. As a police officer he needs to be prepared physically as well as mentally and it is going to be my responsibility to start him out right, and what good would I be doing for him if I sent him to a school that gave away belts.
I have a good friend that saw these signs up around my town advertising for free karate..I was thinking to myself "another one of those watered down martial arts places" I give the guy a call with not too many hopes. I tell him what I am looking for. He is getting ready for class, so he is talking fast and I am thinking "no". He tells me where he is located and I walk down to the place where I thought he said. It was closed. I'm saying to myself "Now what the hell?" I just went back home and forgot about it. The next day I get home from work around 2pm. the phone rings and it's him!! I wasn't sure how to respond and I thought I would just hear him out. He apologized for the night before and explained to me that he was just about to start class.
We talked about where I used to train and that I was looking to start my son and my six year old daughter. With my six year old daughter, my reasoning is very simple , I want her to be able to protect herself, gain confidence, and carry herself differently. She also needs help with her occupational and physical therapy. This I know will build her strength and core.
I decided to try the first class with my son and Sensei Craig recommended that he go in the adult class because he is so big.. The boy is 13 but he easily weigh's 200. He just looks tall, not fat.
So here we are in first class, It is a small amount of people, two others as a matter of fact. Just the way I like it. Small , semi private. He starts the class out with Ukemi Rolls.. OMG! I havent done those in years.. what do I do? I almost draw a blank,, I could see the image in my head of doing it years ago, but my body went through so much since then. It doesnt move like it used to . I used to do those rolls, I even jumped over five men and rolled out of it!! My mind was doing it , but trying to make my body do it was a different story. Was I ever relieved when we moved onto the techniques, those are what I live for. and when I saw that we did very similar techniques that I did in Aiki Jujitsu I was so into it. I was helping my partner remember to do the technique that sensei showed us! All of a sudden I was back in the dojo 15 years ago , standing infront of Murphy or one of the other dojo brothers or my dojo sister M and we were training together. I can't explain it, I was literally going down memory lane!! I felt right at that moment that I belonged there. I want my son to know this art. I can't even describe how I feel. the overwhelmingness of it all. I feel overwhelmed is what I feel but in a really good way. I just know that this is where my path lead me. its just a feeling. I can't really describe and unless you love something and have been away from it for so long and then all of a sudden you are shocked to find that you are standing in the middle of it, you wouldn't understand.
I did download a great man, he is the founder and the grand master of this art. i thought it would be very important to show who he is. My sensei really embodies the love and control and teaching that a sensei should have. I'm very happy to have found him, and I know my son needs him.
I was on my way to work the next morning and I literally started crying happy tears, I couldn't hold back. It is going to be a little while for my body to remember what to do, but I will train with my son, for my well being and for his.
Just had to vent..