A ‘90’s schoolyard, somewhere in Suburbia. The children are happily playing soccer, with their teachers as referees. But one chubby girl sits aside. She is not joining at all, not even looking. She is playing with a stick, quite monotonously and repetitively trying to draw perfect straight lines in the air. “You see, we just cannot have her join…” – the teacher explained to the girl’s father. “She doesn’t understand the rules and will just try to get the ball in order to bounce it and roll around with it, refusing to let go. Then of course, the other children will get annoyed and start kicking her. So that is why we as teachers decided that she should be on the side, so that the other kids can enjoy their game.” The father shrugged. “Well, if she likes to play with that stick, let her do so.” The chubby girl pretended not to have overheard this conversation and continued her stick play, striking and cutting through the air, imagining herself to be fighting alongside Xena Warrior Princess, or as the fourth Samurai Pizza Cat or the fifth Ninja Turtle.
Now that 2018 is coming to an end, it seems wise to me to reflect on what this budo year brought me, on my progress, my journey, or as we call it: my “dō” (pronounced “daw”, meaning “the way/path”). Even more so, because a broken toe prevented me from training for almost a month and I miss my budo dearly… the training, my friends and budo in itself. Can’t wait ’till I am in a dojo, again!