I had a grading this weekend and my body still aches. Some gradings we are pushed to our physical limits to see what emerges. This one, felt different. I didn’t feel like I was up to the task in terms of energy and fitness, but there were definite moments of euphoria from letting go and being in the moment. I’m not a spring chicken anymore.
Trust is at the heart of our school. You have to trust your partners – that they can receive a technique and look after themselves. You have to trust the process – if you show up to training and do the work, over time it will sink in. You have to trust your teachers – that they will continually hone your technique and lead you to the next steps on the journey.
It is especially meaningful during this grading because two of my partners were with me a decade ago for our open hand shodan test. Friendship and fellowship are things I didn’t sign up for when I joined the school and it isn’t in our advertising, but like a lot of other things in our culture, it is there if you are open to it.