When I started practicing martial arts beyond practicing as a young kid with my father, many years ago, I started by practicing Shotokan Karate in Venezuela. I was young, was happy with practicing in a sensei friend’s garage, and had all of that newfound energy to live the martial arts lifestyle; it was a passion shared with friends, we encouraged each other, and we competed together.
The last 11 years I have spent practicing Tae Kwon Do, however in looking for that feeling of newness again, and in looking to learn more and develop myself more deeply as a martial artist -you know, seeking that feeling of getting really excited to come to my Dojo “with an empty cup” again… I have returned to my roots. I have returned to Shotokan Karate.
In my new Dojo, Kuro-obi Dojo with Sensei Engerbert Oquendo, not only I feel renewed but I have become involved in helping my Sensei with the Dojo’s development. Not officially, but sharing with him my many years practicing. There, in addition to practicing, I am also training to compete again, as well as I am teaching a Krav-style Self-Defense class.
A piece of advice for those truly immersed, or looking to be, or those truly interested in living the martial arts lifestyle… take a moment to once in a while reflect on your reasons for practicing. Take a moment and re-assess your feelings, as well as re-establish your position as “a white belt that never quits”.
Remember that introspection is a big part of the martial arts lifestyle, and looking within should be a regular thing.
… That is what our ancient masters and grandmasters, of any discipline, would have wanted : that you never forget where you came from, why you are doing this, or where it is that you are going. Keeping all of that in mind, do not fear to proceed accordingly.
Be Black Belt!