Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Temerity in Training

I have talked over the last couple of nights about Temerity in training, My Sensei, Mark, wrote in his book on training that a budoka (martial artist) needs to have Temerity. This means excessive confidence or boldness; audacity. Anyone who knows Mark knows he is not a braggadocios type of person, and that isn't what he means about being excessively confident or bold or audacious. It means that when everything conspires against you to keep training, you have the audacity to keep training anyway. You don't let things get in your way and you train in spite of the circumstances.

When I moved to Idaho, I'd already been training in the Bujinkan for many years. But the one Bujinkan dojo that was here closed up shop. So, my options were to stop training altogether (not really an option for me), train in another martial art (I'd already trained in several martial arts and knew Bujinkan was the best for me and what I wanted out of training, so not much of an option, especially since none of the dojos in the valley appealed to me), or keep training in Bujinkan somehow. I had the Temerity to keep training in the Bujinkan even though there wasn't a teacher near by. I was bold and had the audacity to think I could do this, even though some said I shouldn't try, it would be too difficult. I went to seminars, I networked with former teachers to try and find closer teachers, and settled on a teacher that kept me going for some time. I then had the Temerity to help others learn this art and started teaching. This was during the recession and I wasn't sure anyone would train since I saw dojos all over the valley closing, but I had the Temerity to do it anyway. One of my earliest students was almost killed by someone with a gun, but we had been doing gun disarms for a couple weeks straight before it happened and it saved his life and the gunman's life also. So, yes, I had the audacity to teach others this art, and it was a good thing I did. Then I found Mark, one of the best non-Japanese teachers in the Bujinkan and I had the audacity, the Temerity, to train with him even though he wasn't my teacher because I wanted to be as good as him some day. I eventually left my teacher that helped me get through the slump period of not having one close by, and clung to Mark when he accepted me as a student. I've had the Temerity to drive to Portland and/or Albany 5 times per year to train with him. I've gone with him to Japan to train under Hatsumi Soke and Nagato DaiShihan and I am going again with him. I have also seen more growth in myself and in my students because of having the Temerity to train with Mark and do what is needed to train with him.

To me, this martial art is more than just something to do with my time. Every class (whether the ones I'm teaching at our dojo or the ones Mark is teaching) is an event to me, think about that for a second. How would your training change if you thought of every class as an event? Something not to be missed out of convenience. Not to be late to? I understand that things happen and life gets in the way sometimes, but ask yourself what is the level of Temerity you are expressing in your desire to train? Do you have the Temerity to say, "This is what's important, this has meaning. This is what I will be identified as, I am a Budoka!" Miyomato Musashi said "The approach to combat and everyday life should be the same."

So, have the audacity, the boldness, the Temerity to live your life as a Budoka, but remember, a Budoka is someone that trains no matter what, that excitedly attends class, and not just a weekend warrior. We've seen several of those in the dojo over the years. The person who attends a few classes only to realize this martial art is too difficult to learn just attending two or three classes per month. They don't grow and develop as fast as they want to, and drop out early on.

Please don't misunderstand my intentions for this, I am not reprimanding any one person or persons nor do I have anyone in mind as I'm writing this. I am merely expressing what it means to have Temerity in your training and to keep training no matter what. When you hit a slump, when you feel like you aren't as good as you want to be, when others don't understand why you train because it isn't the popular thing to do, if you don't get rank advancements as fast or often as you think you should: You have the Temerity to keep training anyway. If you are looking into training with our dojo, know that Temerity is something you will need in your training.