Clarity

“The path into the light seems dark, the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long, true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished, true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure.”

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You do not need more movement, you need the essence of movement.

words within me, and yet not from me. String plucked by an unknown hand, vibrations echoing into the nothingness surrounding it.

I had met many other martial artists while assigned to the 25th ID. We would test each other’s skill, talk about training methods, theories of useage. One a good friend of mine an aikidoist. , who I thought was very skilled at the time in his art. There were two schools of Aikido on the island both very different in philosophy and technique.  He taught and  practiced at both schools, and would later start to study Iaido

We often talked, he trained with 2 schools of Aikido on the island of Oahu , one originating with Koichi Tohei and another school whose name I’ve long forgotten. He mentioned that in Aikido there were factions who followed different methods. We would often talk about the differences.  One based on developing and using something called aiki, the other according to him seemed to be more based in practical usage for self defense, a little easier  to understand and achieve.

Watching me practice he once said “ your movement is very good, but I can’t feel it”

It would take some time for me to understand what he meant. About this time he suggested a taiji school he knew of the teacher taught what he called “Outlaw taiji“. My first introduction to an art I really did not think to much of.

taiji

Peter Tam Hoy, my first teacher, good friend, who I would come to regard as a taiji bother and Master Sam Kekina, who taught what was called “outlaw taiji” by some. His focus was on the combative aspects of taiji….

My first week there, I once asked one of the students whether this really worked or not. He laughed, Asking me to attack him I was promptly bounced into a wall.

Taiji would lead me to find the clarity I sought. Three teachers would lead me on this path. Each a different aspect with the last one Master Zhang, directly cutting to the heart of the matter…

While taiji allowed me to find clarity, what I really needed was

Freedom

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