It always seems that when you have something that prevents you from training and you take a little time off and then return the class is sure to be a tough one. That happened today. However, I love these moments. There was a time when I hated it with a passion and would often feel like crying, like I couldn't hold kibadachi one more second. It was in those moments where I learned the most, especially how to breathe through hara, breathe into my ribs instead of my chest, expand the entire torso with breath. At that moment when you feel at your weakest you are actually at your strongest. There you reach mushin because your body physically can no longer hold on, but your spirit stays strong and guides you through the kihones. I went there today and it felt fabulous. There is this new picture of sensei sitting on the desk as you walk into the gym. It was taken at his godan shiai. In this picture he's covered in sweat and it looks as if he's about to fall to the ground from exhaustion. Upon closer inspection you notice his eyes, notice how sharp they are, and you notice he has reached mushin and zanshin, the perfect combination. It's an amazing picture. This is the place we all strive to be in during our training, and especially during those moments of physical discomfort and of self-defense. The place where it all "just happens", without thought, without ego. You are moving as an entire unit. I've discovered that this is a place not easily accessible, especially if you have any ego in your training. It is also a place where you must respect yourself and your abilities as a martial artist.
Tooth is out, back to training.