I saw this coming as early as the last two months of last year. And by “this” I mean this hiatus from Kendo training. I am hoping that a month should be enough for me to put things in perspective. The commitment is still there albeit shaken by growing discontent.
Putting a name to the feeling that has been weighing me down for the past months is a wake up call on my part. Dissatisfied is far from what I imagine myself would feel in my Kendo journey. If there are words I want to live by in Kendo they would be all or any of these: Challenged. Committed. Self-disciplined. Self-motivated. Tenacious.
But what I feel now matters in the long run. For this reason, I am taking a step back to figure out how I should move forward. Because giving up is not what I have in mind. I need to address this if I want to grow in this martial art. But I cannot effectively do that if I continue to let this feeling of discontent fester. Taking some time away from training gives me an opportunity to reflect on things including the reasons why I started out in the first place.
In the two weeks (i.e. two training days since our club trains once a week) I have been away, I realized that it is the gap between expectation and reality that has been dragging me down. Obviously, it is my problem. But I believe that the root causes are valid. I will just have to find that delicate balance between setting realistic expectations given my current environment and being a catalyst for whatever small changes or improvements we can make. This is not an easy feat given what I have experienced over the past months. But I am willing to give it a try. At the very least, I could persevere regardless of what is happening around me or how others choose to approach their training.
But if there are things I really want to learn in Kendo it would be the following:
- Learn, embrace, and practice reigi and reiho
- “Master” the basics (read: strive to be better at them every training)
- Never let prevailing conditions drag me down
- Do not let other people’s beliefs and behaviors hinder me from my goals
- And take pleasure in the simple joys like being able to fold my hakama a little bit faster than I used to.