It’s nerve wracking going to a new dojo, somewhere you’ve never been before, where you’re not sure if the sensei is going to be legitimate or a fallacy. It’s nerve wracking knowing you’ve only had a handful of training sessions in the last decade since you quit practicing. And it’s nerve wracking to start a new style. You need to trust in yourself and face these fears. Fear can stop you, don’t let it. Having obtained a black belt in one style and begin a new style you know you’re going to pick things up faster than the other new students that haven’t studied anything else before, but that also means you have some habits that might be good for your old style but need to break for the new one.
Taekwondo was pretty rigid, a hard style, at least in the way I was trained. Hard snaps in the hyeungs (katas), and powerful finishes in sparring and taking out an opponent. There wasn’t much softness to it. Goju Ryu is a mixture of hard and soft styles within the Karate school of martial arts. Looks like I need to learn to relax. Literally.
Either way, I am going to push myself like I always used to with martial arts. I’m going to train hard. Study hard. Love harder.
Additionally, I learned I’m out of shape. Definitely. I mean, I knew it before but I know it now. This proved it. Through dedication and constant training I’ll get there. I have the mindset, I just need the time. I’ll be attending Goju Ryu classes 3 days a week. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. That will leave plenty of time the rest of the week to practice Ninjutsu. Once I have my new workout room finished in about a month’s time I plan on working out pretty much every morning, even if it’s just light enough to get my blood pumping for the day, then reserving the evening for martial arts practice.
But how do I feel now? Sore. Tired. Like this glass of cranberry juice can’t go down fast enough. But I’m pumped. My depression seems to have washed away (I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety in 2006) for now, which better than any high you can imagine. I also feel like the sensei was knowledgeable and had the right mindset – traditional but relatable and not overboard in any aspect, which is what I look for in a teacher. The dojo itself was small, in an old style strip mall that has like 4 stores in it, you know the sort on a street corner close to – but not in – the bad part of town. It’s a bonus and a curse that it’s also adjacent one of my favorite pizza places in town.
And with that, I’m going to meditate on the day and my choices and visualize the days to come.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.