Here I wish to share with you my humble reflections as a youthful deshi (student) who had just taken his first steps across the threshold of the traditional dojo, indeed a true place of enlightenment.

When I first entered our traditional dojo, I felt that I had entered a different world suspended in time, the atmosphere was powerful, yet calming, as I experienced the wisdom that flowed from my traditional Sensei.

At first, I did not imagine what would be ahead of me, I tried to comprehend what my Sensei expected of me as a traditional student, and here I would visualize many thoughts. It was during one of our intense three-hour training sessions; that I would discovered just how privileged I was, to have been accepted as a student of my Sensei. It was at this moment, the thought of training with meaningful purpose, had entered my mind for the very first time; directly before me stood a true traditional Sensei; sharing his lifetime skill's and his cultural heritage with me, undeniably I would be grateful for the time-less moments, that he shared with me.

My Sensei would reveal to me throughout the many powerful training sessions; the time polished etiquettes and philosophies, which he himself had studied from his budo teachers. This would be the foundation of my martial arts journey in the traditional way of Karate Do, and the wisdom within Budo.

It was during another of our traditional training session's that I felt I could offer up no more of myself, it was at this moment of weakness, I heard these words of encouragement from my Sensei;


Bushido kanji image


"The strongest of all Katana, were forged in the hottest of all fires."

After hearing these spirited words from my Sensei, I realised there was more to give of myself, I pushed my weakened body onwards seeking strength from his words of encouragement, from this moment of weakness I rediscovered my budo spirit and pressed on unremitting.

Discovering meaningful purpose has given me an insight which has been instrumental establishing within me, the traditional principles of budo, I would therefore discover in future years the changes; that these principles embedded within me would be profoundly life altering. These changes have shaped my inner being as an individual, and have given me true etiquette in my journey.

I will forever remain a humble student of my traditional Sensei's, and their shared cultural heritage, humbly I have discovered a "Sensei within me."

Indeed life is like a wheel, where the centre hub of the wheel is the knowledge base, and foundation, whereas each spoke of the wheel reaches out to those that seek out the true knowledge, as the wheel turns we experience continuous improvement in what we discover.

May your Traditional Martial Arts - Journey of discovery, be as enjoyable and humble as my own personal journey?

Garry O'Connor Hanshi


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