In the last issue of Zanshin (2020-2), I wrote about the challenges of continuing your dō in these times of Corona. After its publication, many people reached out to me, mostly with questions on how to keep motivated enough for all these self-directed activities. Therefore, in the following article, I would like to share some more tips on how to keep your (budo) spirits up.
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 …
On February the 16th 2019, the third edition of the Martial Arts Festival in Utrecht will take place. Whether you are already practicing martial arts and want to broaden your horizons or you have always want to practise martial arts, but never knew where to start, this is the day for you!
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!
There is unrest in my dojo. Teachers are arguing, some have already left. I don’t know where things are going. All I know is that I want to keep doing karate. But where and how is to be explored. At the same time, it has been five years since I graduated and I am trying to find my way in a PhD research project, As for me these two explorations have much in common, today, I did some free writing to explore their connections.