Akemashite Omedeto – Happy new year!
I hope you all have a great year. As usual we follow the Japanese celebration of kagami biraki (“opening the mirror ceremony”), where you reflect on the past year and enter a new period of your life to try and achieve a perfect self-reflection.
Looking back, 2018 was a tough year for Bushin – we lost a lot of talented and regular students for all kinds of reasons. It was touching to hear how Bushin had changed their lives for the better though. The other day, I bumped into a guy that had a trial but couldn’t sign at the time. He got into a bar fight 6 months later and said the one lesson he had saved his bacon. Proof this stuff really works!
I’ve been teaching martial arts for nearly 30 years now so I’m used to the ups and downs of a club. Sometimes you get a tail wind and lots of enthusiastic people join and other years are a struggle. That’s life and you gotta roll with the punches.
This brings me onto this New Year’s message: “Done!”
Probably one of the most overused phrases these days. We all use it…even my kids. It provides closure and a sense that you can forget about the task and move on. Nothing particularly troublesome about that I guess…except that…what happens when things aren’t done? What happens when problems persist and you can’t close and move on? What happens when it eats away at you, stressing you out, taking up your time. Do you have the spirit to get through?
We live in a world of instant gratification now and I often wonder if the next generation will have the grit and determination to survive when the going gets tough. I hate to sound like an old fart but when I was a lad and wanted to find things out, I got on a bus, went down the library and looked it up in a book. I never had the luxury of asking my google home hub. When I taught Shorinji Kempo in East Africa many students had to travel for 2 hours through hot sun and mosquitos just to get to the dojo every day. Remember, training is never “done”. You’re only as good as the next time you train. If you don’t, your skills and fitness diminish. I train pretty much every day and never think twice about how ‘hard’ it is to get there or how tired I feel…it’s just part of my life.
One of resolutions last year was to put Bushin online. I’ve had loads of people ask me over the years and so I finally did it. It’s been very tough learning new skills like media editing, marketing and book writing. I’ve been at it every day and all weekend for the last 6 months. I get up early, work 10 hours a day in a highly stressful job, get home and help the kids with their exam revision and put them to bed, then boot the computer up until the wee hours. But I’m very pleased to say “it’s done!”, and it’s pretty awesome! Launch is in the coming days. Check it out… https://streetmartialart.com/.
So for 2019, instead of saying “done” why not say “I’m done with my excuses!”. Grit your teeth, knuckle down and achieve your desires, whatever they may be.
Loads of events this year as usual. Check them out on the site: https://bushin.co.uk/events/. Training starts again on Thursday 3rd Jan for our trademark turkey busting. Be there!