Authenticity

"Why?", is a question we ask ourselves from time to time about our training, as a sign post of where we've come from and where we're going.  It's a healthy thing to do in life, as well as training.  I do it every so often to check in with myself as to why I'm still teaching and training.  I have many reasons to study Kobudo.  The order of importance changes with each passing year.  As a beginner, you will have had a myriad of reasons, such as, fitness, self-defence, community, discipline and so on.  As you clock up more years of training, I think you start to refine the reasons for stepping onto the mat each week.  It becomes more focused, perhaps.  The key is, to be authentically living your BUDO!

Are you training for you?  Perhaps you're training for fitness?  Are you training for your family and their safety?  Are you training for the recognition from others, hoping for some form of admiration?  Perhaps for the sense of belonging to something greater than you?  Are you training to rid yourself of ego?  Perhaps you want to use Kobudo as a vehicle for self awareness and personal growth?  Perhaps you're just trying to work through some long-held shadows that are no longer serving you as you walk through your life?

There is never one answer, nor is there any wrong answer.  You just have to be authentic with yourself.  Ask yourself, "Why do I train?"  Then sit, and wait, and see what comes up.  For me, asking this question on paper, in the form of a journal, really helps me layout all the mess of thoughts, emotions and impulses, to make linear sense and thus discover, through the flow of consciousness, what I'm authentically feeling.  Perhaps it's something to discuss with someone close to you.  Perhaps it's a solitary question.  Whatever method you utilise, do it.  Do it now!  Ask the question and see what the authentic answer is...  You may be surprised, or perhaps you will just confirm a strong willed intent that sustains you over many years.  However, some challenging or revealing reasons for why you train, could re-focus or channel your training into new growth.  Life's too short for inauthentic motivations.  Live your truth. Try it, see what comes back to you.

Travis de Clifford
Katsuyoshi
Kensho Dojo

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