New Beginnings and Your Journey

Published on 31 March 2024 at 12:52

I'm not particularly religious, but I find inspiration strikes no matter what your intention.  Turns out it's Easter.  Now for many kids it's where they search every blade of grass in the back yard and find 50 eggs in 4 minutes, when it takes these same kids 11 hours to clean their rooms.  However for many others it signals a renewal.  New beginnings.  A second chance. 

I've been all over the place with my martial arts journey.  I've been the proto-weeb, learning Japanese in high school for two years (never learning to say much more than domoarigato), and jumping full into the first martial art class my brother Ben and I could find.  Then I became the dedicated student, going to class three times a week and competing every chance I got.  Then I was the guilty husband / father, not going to class to focus on the family, and my commitment trailed off.  Then I rediscovered training and did so because I was driven to obtain my Black Belt in Aikijujutsu.  Then I discovered the Filipino martial art of Pekiti Tirsia Kali, and re-re-discovered my love of training, but more importantly my love of sharing the martial arts knowledge that I have gained over the years.  So, trust me when I say I understand the idea of a new beginning.  I've done it a few times...


Everyone is on their journey.  Through life and the martial arts.  Renewal, change, and self-improvement / personal evolution are the hallmarks of a healthy, developing human.  Allowing, accepting, and adopting these changes are what we need to move forward as people.  When we take these same concepts and include them in our martial arts journey, that's when we may really find some growth.


If you attend a seminar, sparring match, or sometimes even something happens in class to challenge you either personally or mentally, you have an opportunity to change.  You CAN stagnate, and stand firmly in your spot, telling yourself and your ego whatever you need to to make that change unnecessary... OR you can look it head on and move forward.

A couple of months ago, I was in a sparring match with a student of mine.  My head wasn't in the fight, and I was sitting back, just hand hunting and playing it safe.  My student took my hands apart.  He had my timing and range and I was giving him nothing to be afraid of.  I wasn't aggressive nor was I moving my hands enough.  I took it hard for a couple days, but then I realized I needed to make some changes. 


Now, it wasn't the changes I made to my fighting that I was personally proud of, it was the mental changes.  I could have hid in my mind behind "I was having an off day", or that "I wasn't trying that hard" (I wasn't, but why wasn't I?)  No, I was most happy because I wasn't satisfied with my performance and worked on it.  It takes some mental toughness to be ok with having been wrong.  You change.  You re-new yourself, in a manner of speaking.


Now, at other times, I have had periods of time where I really was tired of where I was in my Martial Arts Journey.  I had stagnated, or was getting bored.  Call it a nomadic heart, un-diagnosed ADHD, or just on a quest for novelty.  Whatever it was I'd go weeks at a time where I "Wasn't feeling it" so I wouldn't go to class.  Then something changed, and I started going more.  I discovered I was happier when I trained, and so I kept going.

Personally, I've had opportunities to remake myself throughout my martial arts journey.  I've always prided myself on being able to recognize and capitalize on opportunities I've found.  So I encourage you:  See your journey for what it is.  Not a linear route on rails, hemmed in by expectations (of you or others), or one marked by setbacks and failures.... But instead as a living breathing thing.  An animal that grows on what you feed it.  Be genuine and true to yourself.  Be accepting of yourself and others.  Help other people succeed and you will find success yourself, often times from the help other people can be. 


Thanks for reading my ramblings.  What are your thoughts on renewal?  How has your journey changed you?


Have a great week, and I can't wait to train with you.



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Jennifer Kasper
4 months ago

Good read!! Make some very valid points, I'm glad I joined the amazing family of Blackbird.
I joined at a very dark time in my life and also thought I was too old but I'm so glad I did it! It literally has saved my life and still is. Best decision I ever made.