Akemshite Omedeto – Happy new year! A new year and a fresh start. I hope you all have a great year. As usual we follow the Japanese celebration of kagami biraki (“opening the mirror ceremony”), where you reflect on the past year and enter a new period of your life to try and achieve a perfect self-reflection.
Looking back, 2016 was a great year for Bushin – we’ve grown in numbers, stature and standard. We continue to push the boundaries and get better at what we do. For the rest of the world
2016 could well be an unexpected turning point in history – Brexit and Trump may be 2 words quoted in many future years. It was also not a great year in the celebrity world with many famous names passing away well before their time. It just reminds me even more so of the Japanese saying “ichigo ichie”, directly translated as “one chance, one meet”. The real meaning is more like first chance, last chance, or simply put, life is short.
What is your New Year resolution? Having resolutions that are realistic, challenging and yet achievable is always tough. Stopping smoking or getting fit are easy cop outs. Maybe you’d like to think about ichigo ichie. This is not about changing some flawed weakness in your life. This is about changing your whole attitude to life. You only get one chance to do something. Every experience is different, so you should make the most of it and live in the moment. Be enthusiastic and appreciative every minute. This is very easy to say and even philosophise about, but to actually apply it to your life is far harder.
While ichigo ichie applies to all aspects of life, in the martial arts world this is about taking every opportunity to train and train hard. Training every session because you don’t want to miss out, and feeling disappointed when you do. Shouting “osu” when told to do 20 burpees instead of groaning and wishing you could sit down. Doing 54 punches when you were told to do 50, because you want to just squeeze a few more out and make yourself better. Rep’ing until your arms hurt and your head aches from keeping the focus, instead of stopping and chatting. Staying to the bitter end and asking “is that all? I want more!”, not breathing a sigh of relief that it’s over. Plus, probably most importantly doing it continually, day in, day out without wavering.
Why is this important? Well it’s not important at all if you want an easy life and things to be handed to you on a platter. Being continually positive is tiring and not for the lazy. I have trained with, learnt from and taught all kinds of martial artists over the years. I can safely say the best have always been the hard working ones which have a positive and enthusiastic attitude. The talented ones come and go, but the hard workers stay the course. Just being around this kind of people is infectious and you can’t help feeding off the vibe. These people are the do-ers, the achievers and the ones that go far in life.
I always try to take inspiration from “life-livers”. I’m continually busy – I have 2 jobs, a family, 3 projects on the go, a few hobbies, plus I train every day and nurse my injuries and ailments. I’m always doing too much, training too hard and not sleeping enough. For these reasons every minute of the day is precious to me…as it should be. Sometimes I allow myself to relax and take much needed time out, but most of the time I’m on the go. I’ve never had a handout and worked hard for everything I’ve achieved. It’s not for everyone but it’s a lifestyle I chose and love.
So, what do you say? Wanna give it try? If the answer is OSU! then you’ve made a great start. So take time to watch the sunset, run up the escalator, go for the new job and kick into 5th gear. One chance and one life, so fill it to the brim!
We are back at it on Tues 3rd Jan for our trademark turkey busting. Be there!