CARETAKERS OF THE WAY

4 Jul
Many of us sacrifice aspects of our lives in pursuit of our chosen art, hobby, sport or other such endeavor. There are times when we seek to understand the cause of such sacrifice. Perhaps our desire is merely motivated by self-indulgent reasons. We may attribute our desire to explore such pursuits to a quest for self-exploration as a path to self-improvement. Perhaps. But, as my computer keyboard spews these words to you at 3:21 in the morning, I submit there is perhaps more to our sacrifice.
 
I was once given a gift that sheds light upon the path of sacrifice, dedication, devotion and obsession that has come to represent my quest in Karate-Do. The gift is a poem. It has transcended time to remind me that there is more to my exploration of Karate-Do than just the “Me” aspect. The poem was given to me many years ago at the Dojo which was then located at 500 Tenth Street in Palisades Park, New Jersey. The author is a unique person in my Karate lineage. His words shed light upon my Karate-Do “raison d’etre“. I submit the poem to you in the hopes you may come to understand that the sacrifices you make in pursuit of your art are not all attributed to self-indulgent needs.
 
 There is a time when a practitioner evolves into that which is practiced. The evolutionary process imposes a trust upon the practitioner. A form of bond evolves whereby the practitioner becomes a guardian of that which was once practiced for selfish reasons. In Karate-Do, the personification of this evolutionary process, is referred to by the title “Sensei”. I hope you appreciate the words of one such Sensei.   

AS YOU TRAVEL IN TIME TEACHING KARATE-DO

 REMEMBER IT BELONGS TO NO MAN

WE ARE ONLY THE CARETAKERS OF THE WAY

IT WAS PASSED ONTO US SO THAT WE MAY PASS IT ONTO OTHERS.

DO NOT LET EGO GUIDE YOUR WAY IN KARATE-DO

RATHER LET THE WAY GUIDE YOUR EGO. (see Endnote # 1).

To all those that have evolved into caretakers of that which they practice, I hope you appreciate the above. It has a special place in my heart.

Until the next article, I remain a Sensei, a mere caretaker, hoping that I continue to measure up to the task entrusted upon me.
HANKO-reverse
 
 Sensei John Szmitkowski
 
ENDNOTES:
 1. From my private collection and reproduced in Szmitkowski, John, Goshin-Do Kata-Jitsu, Volume One: The Basic Kata, (Issho Publications, East Rutherford, NJ 1997).

Please feel free to visit Sensei John’s new online store containing various Jiriki Kata-Do products with the unique logo of Sanchin. The Sanchin logo depicts the three battles of Sanchin in a new contextual paradigm. You may find Sensei’s store by clicking the following  link http://www.cafepress/sanchin_logo..

For more on either Sanchin Kata as meditation or my new book on Sanchin Kata, please feel free to visit the “Sanchin Book” page of this Blogsite, or my website WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

For more information on my ideology and methodology of Jiriki Kata-Do, please review the articles herein filed in the category “Kata as enlightened meditation“.

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