2012 – THE YEAR OF THE WHITE BELT

1 Jan

2012, Shougatsu, Shiroi No Obi – New Year (of the) White Belt

I suggest that in the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks and months, that begin to unfold into the path that will be called “2012”, we need to walk that unwinding path with the “mind of a white belt.”

This concept is derived from a Goshin-Do Karate percept, “Observe with the mind of a white belt.” The while belt, worn by novice students, is said to symbolize purity and innocence in terms of preconceptions as to Karate. (See Endnote # 1). When a Karate-Ka (student of Karate) first enters the Dojo, the neophyte observes without preconceived thought or emotion. Thus, one observes every detail, even the most minute, with the pure eyes of a child. In doing so, one is able to capture the inner most aspect of a Karate-Do technique and incorporate it into one’s personal repertoire.

Prior to the advent of modern colored belts, a Karate-Ka would wear the same belt (a white belt) during his entire training. Although the Karate uniform would be laundered  regularly, as a sign of respect, the Karate-Ka would not wash his belt. Over time, the white belt would become soiled. The belt would even be used to wipe the sweat from one’s brow after training. Thus, the belt would become discolored, eventually turning black from use, wear and tear. This is the humble birth of the all too coveted black belt.

In the final days that remain of the year 2011, we should shed our internal black belt. Our preconceptions, emotions and perhaps even thoughts have become “soiled” over time. In the first indicia of time that calls forth “2012!” let us all shed preconceptions – “internal and emotional baggage”. In the first millisecond of 2012, we should commit to don the belt of a novice and view the minutest details of the unfolding year with a pure and innocent heart and spirit. Let us all become the exalted white belt.

REMEMBER: SANCHIN can be performed by ANYBODY, ANYPLACE, ANYTIME. Here’s two short video examples: Sanchin during a Harley-Davidson Electra-glide ride amidst the scenic Arizona cotton fields. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNbDxDHvlL8 and Sanchin while fly fishing at Water Ranch lake, Gilbert, Arizona. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ncZJ0s0HNI

Wishing all a very Happy New Year, I remain
HANKO

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Sensei John is now on Facebook, under – FLY FISHING DOJO, you are invited to send a Facebook friend request.

You may wish to view my blog dedicated to martial ideology applied to the sport of fly-fishing by clicking WWW.FlyFishingDojo.Wordpress.Com

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