Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Martial Culture & Haiku Challenge

I became interested in the Martial Arts when I was young, resulting from a steady diet of the Karate Kid, Bruce Lee and Ninja movies. I went to one Karate class when I was something like 13 and was so sore the next day that I did not return. I was an overweight youth who looked at what I perceieved as the ultimate end, a black belt, and figured that I just could never attain such a proficientcy.

Some 15 years later, I became interested in the Eastern philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism, spawned by readings that I had come accross and found interesting. I found the teachings of these "ways" (I am hesitant to call them religions for they do not require one to worship a particular god and are as such that they can be practised quite harmoniously without comprimise to being, for example, a good Christian) applicable to my life and a value system that I could appreciate. Inevitably, these ways opened up a window in regards to further thing that the human body is capable through meditation and Yoga, and re-kindled my interest in the Martial Arts. So I read several more books and, in 1999, began to study Yoga and meditation. It wasn't until 2002, however, that I finally actively pursued the Martial Arts, upon becoming a Correctional Officer, save for one class in Kendo (instructed in French) when I was at University in Quebec.

As a Correctional Officer you receive a weeks worth of training for self-defense and arrest and control. The system utilised is called Koga Jutsu, and was adapted from Aikido. I was brutal, and the techniques, though effective if pursued over several years, were hardly given justice over that one week period (and we, as Officers, never receive follow-up or further training in this system). So I again felt that my career in Martial Arts was one that I needed to actively pursue on my own time, more now than ever as someone's life could one day be in my hands.

In my mind, to be a Martial Artist was embodied in the Samurai of Japan. While being a fierce and effective warrior, Samurai had honor and were schooled in other areas such as poetry, calligraphy and flower arrangement. In spite of my impressions, I knew that I was not living in the time or place of the Samurai, but wanted to adapt a martial culture of my own where I would learn discipline, effective combat techniques, further develop my mind, body and spirit, and find a way to express life's beauty while finding inner peace. I was not dillusional in thinking I would find that all in one place, but wanted to find a Martial Arts school that would develop some aspects mentioned above, while I pursued the rest.

So, reading and body analysis of my self lead me to Judo. Judo is an awesome Art, but I found that it was more sport than martial, so, after a year, thankful for that which I had learned, I bowed out. I then began taking Kali, a Filipino Martial Art, from a colleague. Kali is a stick and knife Art and very effective for law enforcement. I still dabble in Kali, but it isn't that "way" that I am truly seeking - though I do enjoy knife and stick sparring. Next, I became a member of the tactical team (IERT) at the prison where I received further training (2 weeks) in Koga... but still had a difficult time. This was followed by a year of Taekwondo, but again, found that it offered little in ideology and was too sport oriented. That isn't to say I'm looking to become a killer, as I am equally put off by the "Rambo Boot Camp" systems out there.

Finally, and perhaps ironically, I have arrived at Aikido. Aikido seems to possess all of the attributes I would hope to find in an Art and I quite like the school I am in. If you research a bit on this Art you will see that it's practise is physical, soft, esoteric and esposing an ideological basis for techniques, not to mention effective. My goal is simple, to gain as much as I can from the class I am presently attending. I must say that Taekwondo really helped my agility along, so I am seeing improvement.

So training is in place, I killed three previous Bonsai's but my present one has been doing very well, have a koi and 3 goldfish, am looking in to Archery (thanks to my friend Dave giving me a free bow and arrows), eat sushi regularly, am reading (have a bio on Hirohito on the go, plus Shogun and a book on Japanese Martial Culture) and of course, writing.

...Which leads me to the second part of this missive, my Haiku challenge.

A Haiku is defined as follows: a form of Japanese verse that encapsulates a single impression of a natural object or scene, within a particular season, in 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Bellow you will find some of the Haikus that I have written and would like to hear some of yours. So, have fun and Happy Haikuing everybody!!!!

haiku #1
spawning salmon shakes
icy Autumn river flows
end and renewal

haiku # 2
gold dog’s fur dances
blossom breeze of summer eve
run with dangling tongue

haiku # 3
fat orange fish darts
amidst broad summer lilies
canopy from sun

haiku # 4
mosquitoes needles
summer blood supped up quickly
hand clasps flesh red sting

haiku # 5
white goat’s bell jingles
through the cherry blossom breeze
in stony meadow


  • At 1:06 a.m. , Blogger passion said...

    It's always fascinating to read people's story of how they come this far in their spiritual journey. I am amazed by your story.

    You are a good writer real-E!

  • At 9:39 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ah, the 5-7-5 haiku school.

    Here are some interesting links if you want to take a deeper look at the form:

  • At 11:19 a.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    I really liked the Masaoka Shiki page. His haiku:

    red dragon fly
    in the sky of Tsukuba
    no cloud

    truly epitomises the simplistic beauty of this poetic form - great stuff!

    I skimmed the second link, but will sit down with it at a later time and read it in detail.

    Thanks for the links!


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