Nana korobi ya oki (resilience, unflagging effort) is the core belief of Seido Karate. It assumes that life is challenging and that we sometimes fall, unable to meet the challenge. Still we get up, undaunted, embracing our own spirit, our own capacity to prevail. The alternative, to stagnate or dwindle in spirit and action, is simply unacceptable.
Where do we fall, generally speaking? There are certain patterns to life and these patterns, like the embusen of the kata we practice, have pivotal points. We tend to fall on the pivot because we are changing direction, going off the well-trodden path.
We each embark on certain, predictable missions in our lives. We go out into the world to secure basic necessities, relationships with others, a reputation for ourselves, a power base, a true vision and a capacity to see life's blood flowing through everything equally. Each of these separate missions require that we re-orient ourselves, both inwardly and out in the world. Each mission indicates that the previous mission, necessary and good though it may have been, has in some way failed us. We discover the need to grow past what we once saw as a goal on the horizon. What once was the future is now behind us.
It is important to recognize when our spirit has grown. It may feel like a failure or a death of sorts, but without these moments of change, these pivotal moments when we recognize that we must once again put on our battle gear and fight for a new life, life would lose its flavor, and our heroic journey would truly end.
Seido practice is many things to many people. But what it offers to everyone equally is the opportunity to experience challenge in a deep, mindful way, the better to appreciate the lives we live. Just as importantly, it restores our ability to appreciate the lives of others. Feeling this deep connection with others, our heroic journey is not in vain. Train hard. Gambatte kudasai.
See you in the dojo. Osu!