The Hard Part

So maybe I’ve decided to keep going with taijutsu.

OK. That’s easy enough to say.

The hard part is the doing. Oh, it’s easy enough to go to class twice a week for a few hours each time. It’s even a relatively simple thing simple thing for me to go to Minneapolis for a weekend seminar in October (Guess what, honey? Surprise!).

The hard part is the same damn thing that’s always been the hard part for me whether it’s music or writing or smack laying: practice. I’m at the point with taijutsu where if I want to get better at a non-glacial pace, I need to practice. I can’t just sit back and rely on my natural talent like I do with music. I can’t coast on the skills other people have installed in me like I do with writing.

I need to get off my ass and run and jump and be stealthy and hit a heavy bag and get hit by someone else and swing a sword around and get the hell out of the way and study tactics and meditate and eat the right things and not only learn Japanese but go to Japan for a few personal tutor sessions with Hatsumi Sensi and pay attention to both Eastern and Western anatomy and learn biomechanics learn to shoot a long bow without aiming.

Oh, did I mention gardening? That’s actually the root of this whole martial tradition I’m studying, believe it or not. After all, it was a bunch of dirt-poor farmers who were just trying to grow food for their families and kept getting harassed by the elite classes who started the whole ninja thing. It was just a way to protect families and friends and villages from government-sanctioned maurading by heavily armed and armored and highly trained troops on horseback.

Ninjutsu, at its root, was also a small middle finger waved in the general direction of the emperor. That might be the part I like best. Hell, I can do that without practicing.

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