Skip to main content

Mindfulness, respect, and vulnerability

A theme from this weekend's seminar was to think. Don't just flail the sword around in the approximate direction. Think about every cut, every motion. Think about where the tip is rather than where your hands are.

Mindfulness is the buzzword for this. All too common in life we run on autopilot. We drive to work in a zombie-like state. No thought that we should tell others around us that we are going to do something that requires action on their part (braking, for example). I don't know what the statistics might be for how many people get through their work day without ever thinking about what they're doing, but I do know it happens.

At my rank in iaido, a key focus is on respect. There are different thoughts on respect. One thought is that it must be earned. That's valid. Tell me who you are and what you've done that I should care about.

Another thought is to give it freely until someone does something where they no longer deserve it.

Both have advantages and disadvantages. WIth the first, you are protecting yourself from being duped, but you may miss out on incredible opportunities.

With the second, you are open to everyone. This means that you're unlikely to miss out on wonderful people, but it also means you'll probably get taken advantage of. Also, if you're not careful in how you retract your respect, you might go too far and be overly disrespectful with the person.

In one you are preventing pain and in two you are inviting it. In one you are closed off and in two you are wide open.

What may be needed is a filter.

My martial art, iaido, is about being prepared. We do a lot of "up shit creek" techniques. One kata, Ukenagashi, has us facing a different direction than our attacker while kneeling and we "catch something" with our peripheral vision. We spring up to deflect their sword and cut them down. The likelihood of this working in a real fight? Pretty low. But low is better than zero.

We also strive for balance at my dojo. If you want to know what that means, we talk about Goldilocks often.

Back to thinking and respect then. Think about every move, but not so much that it causes inaction. In other words, don't fall into analysis paralysis. And respect? You can be respectful and still disagree with something you are taught. Do what the sensei at seminar says, but do it the way your sensei does it when you get back to your dojo.

I spent a lot of time on tip control this weekend. Fine tuning for grading. I didn't focus much on looking meaner, though I know I need to. I joke and say I'll pretend my imaginary target is my ex-husband, but I'd rather not live with hatred in my heart. It's not about anger anyway. If you're reacting with anger, you're probably not thinking. My sensei likes to project annoyance. He says we should be annoyed that we have to draw our swords rather than eager. He also says we have to act like we're really in a fight. There's a middle ground there somewhere. Goldilocks again.

We also need to respect our swords. This is key. So important that we even bow to it. Don't be in a rush to get a sharp one. You need to learn to respect the wood and unsharpened one to properly wield a sharp one. Or go ahead and get a sharp one to test the medical system.

I used a wooden one this weekend. Some of the sensei noticed. I didn't feel embarrassed. Sekreta Sensei offered suggestions to try and heal my chronic shoulder pain and tension. Had I decided to pretend like everything was okay and used my iaito, not only could I have done further damage, but I wouldn't have a new resource to try.

Whatever you're facing, own it. In owning it, you reduce it's power over you. Only then can you put yourself back in the driver's seat and get back on the path you yearn for.

Ciao,
Roy Iaidoka

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Lot of Bullspit - 2020 ROW80 R3-W5

This week has had a lot of bullspit in it. Shortly after my last trip to buy reno supplies, I discovered mold in my bathroom. While that's not shocking, it's pretty much because they appear to have left wet drywall in the wall and covered the wall with another layer of drywall instead of properly repairing it after a leak. Geniuses. This is a mixed bag. It means I may have to do the tub area sooner than I expected. It is the same wall as the annoying peeling paint, so that's kind of good. I may just need to replace much of the wall, which is about 1.5 drywall boards because it's a small room. Cost wise, the wall repair isn't so bad. I'm not looking forward to having to deal with it, but I acquired the PPE gear for it and the mold removal supplies. Now, here's where the project may change substantially. I was originally planning to install a tub surround over the tile and then use the Rust Oleum tub restore stuff, but if there is mold in the wall, it's li

ROW80 2020 R4 - GOALS

I've gotten zero writing done recently, however, I had other pressing things.  HOME As my new bed frame was due for arrival last Friday (more on this later), I hauled ass and purged a bunch more stuff from my home. I brought a full carload to donation and started loading up again. I also dealt with my old mattress, which I'm repurposing for a couch. Now, I didn't fully complete it as I haven't figured out all the pieces, but I did get it cut up appropriately and moved out of my bedroom. I'm currently sewing it back together. As for my bedroom, I was able to do a major declutter and access areas I haven't been able to in months. But that area now has bathroom stuff in it. There is more to do, but I'm really happy with my progress of late. I've cut myself numerous times on the couch project including my heel finding a tiny piece of glass, my palm finding a wayward staple, my knuckle finding who knows what, my one thumb having a run in with a box cutter, an

Hanna "Semi Precious" Murphy

A legend in the roller derby community is gone. How and why, I do not know. What I do know is that many are reeling from the news, myself included.  Hanna was known for big hits and a brilliant personality. I experienced her hits first hand as she sent me flying a number of times. Then she'd smile and make sure I wasn't hurt.  I stumbled onto this clip on Youtube from 2012 and I think it shows Hanna as many knew her. She was a force off the track too. As a cofounder of the award-winning Top Shelf Distillers , she gave much to the surrounding Ottawa Valley community.   Hanna was a relatively petite woman and it was she who taught me that I could be mighty despite my size. I wouldn't be the woman I am today if I hadn't had the pleasure and the privilege of sharing the track with her.  I'm shocked. I'm sad. I'm upset I'll never see her or speak to her again.  R.I.P. #10. Rae-Rae