Friday, May 20, 2016

The Last Gasps

Back at the beginning

My time as an instructor is drawing to a close. Only a few short classes to go. I have done my best to pass my system of training on to my senior students. They are instructors themselves and have placed their own stamp onto the program, and of course will continue to do so.


Not that I have been taking it easy for I put just as much effort into my adult classes as ever, documenting the lessons too.


Our Isshinryu is grounded in what I studied with Tom Lewis Sensei and Charles Murray Sensei. Some of the other studies I made are also subsidiary studies in the program.


I will continue my research into the origins of karate, and many other topics.  I continue to remain a karate-ka and train daily.


I have created a blog for my students, which share some of my research should any future student find it useful. Some of our studies are saved on YouTube. Some open, some just for them. I have done my best to pass along what I have seen to them.


I remember some verse I wrote long ago:


I’ve been the beginner learning my right foot from my left.
I’ve been the student learning the tools of my craft.
I’ve been the practitioner increasing the scope of my skills.
I’ve been the adept taking responsibility for the breadth of my art.
I’ve been the instructor.

I guide the beginner.
I focus the student.
I encourage the practitioner.
I explore with the adept.
I draw out the instructor.

My vision is without bounds.
My abilities are less.
History but one tool in my arsenal.
My studies have been vast, but my grasp of the circle is small.

I’ve found friendship and betrayal, joy and sorrow and loneliness.
And the utter certainty that I cannot pass my entire vision along.
None can walk my way, and their efforts are driven by their own needs.
Especially as I cannot take their freedom but can point the way.

I remain the beginner as my body must be faced anew each day.
I remain the student learning the tools of my craft.
I remain the practitioner seeking to increase the scope of my skills .
I remain the adept trying to hold the sea in my arms.
I am the instructor.
I am senior.

Perhaps I’ll be like Prufrock.
“I grow Old, I grow Old,
Shall I wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled?”


Some how that pretty much sums it up.


 And as it turns out perhaps I will roll up those trousers.


I as a new black belt, with my first black gi


Anonymous said...

As one of your former students I still to this day carry your teachings with me. Even though I was young when you taught me. I haven't forgotten anything and during my time in Okinawa I had a wonderful chance to meet many people and was able to see the differences in teaching and the martial arts philosophies. I very much enjoy reading your writings.


Ron Hinds
Scranton, PA

Victor Smith said...

Thank you for the kind words Ron. I appreciate them. I do wish we had more time together. Have a great life.