STRIKING POST — December 2021

Good day everyone,

The time is near, as 2021 comes to a close, to take stock of where we are and what we have, both good and bad. I have been fortunate over the years to have students who work hard and keep me motivated. I must say that the group we have at Mukashi Dojo today makes me want to come to the dojo even more than ever. We have a core group of senior students who have been training for a long time and are accomplished karate-kas in their own right. I tend to lean on them quite a bit and they, in turn, make it much easier to keep the dojo running smoothly by pitching in when required.

Besides that, they play an important role as far as my own personal karate development is concerned. They are all free thinkers, and do not take everything I say as infallible. They challenge me by questioning the way techniques are performed/taught, always while being respectful, of course. This forces me to dig deeper and as a result increase my knowledge base. These students are a source of pride for me because I believe as Nagamine Shoshin O-Sensei said “True leaders do not create followers… They create more leaders”.

The other day I had a chance to read a facebook post by Noonan Sensei of Australia, and in it he reminded me of the importance of not neglecting one’s own training. These days it is very easy, it seems, to become distracted by things which, in the end, are not very important. What is important is to “Humble yourself to your training”. If not you risk becoming like the much despised, “Kuchi Bushi” or mouth warrior. This is someone who talks a good talk but cannot walk the walk, if you know what I mean.

New Years is fast approaching, and I hope many of you will consider attending this year`s Kagami Biraki and set the tone for your own personal training, the whole year long.

I wish all of you a very merry Christmas, and good health and happiness for the New Year.

Yours in Chito-ryu,

Milton Bourque