Recently I have really been thinking a lot about the direction of my practice and what it actually means, but more importantly, who I am in the midst of it all, does it shape, or do I shape it, or is it something in between??
What does it provide deep inside? Some sense of identity? Of belonging? If that is the case then it is not really something worth holding onto because it only serves as yet another mask, another story, an identity rather than THE identity.
Perhaps this is why my own Sensei gave up his Karate Practice, so that he could pursue the deeper aspects of himself, which is supposed to be what Budo is all about anyway.
The fact remains that I enjoy it. Not that I really get much else out of it or that it provides me with something profound, but that I enjoy it and it is truly a part of me, like breathing, walking, sitting, or lying down... There are days that I don't quite enjoy it as much, but even still, it is a challenge.
Lately I have been looking at Kata Sanseru, ever since the last time I practiced the IOGKF Version with my friend Nyles Seaton at his place, but I have not been looking at the IOGKF Version, which is the original version I learned despite my being from the lineage of Seikichi Toguchi/John Roseberry.
Similarities and differences abound... No, I have been really studying the Seiko Higa version, which I seem to have really connected with as it makes total sense to me.
Some might say 'why pursue that one if it is not the way you originally learned it,' and to them I say 'Why not??' It is MY practice and I will do with it as I please, if something speaks to me then I am certainly going to pursue it and see where it leads.
I have also recently taken up the practice of Kakuha, Gekiha 1 and 2, and Gekesai Dai San again as well, having initially stuck to the twelve Goju Ryu Kata, but these are things that I feel are very important to me and need to be included, for myself.
I am not a Karateka that is bound by an Organization that tells me what to practice... I may not have the rank with fancy certificates that say 'Godan' hanging on the wall of Dojo, but my practice is authentic in the way that it has nothing to do with any of that.
Keeping one point in all this means being authentic to yourself, it means listening to yourself... Why do you do what you do? Is it just another escape? Just another story your tell yourself as you look in the mirror? Does it provide some bit of identity that you could otherwise discover by simply looking inward? What is the point of your practice? When this is discovered then you will have discovered true authenticity and 'keeping one point' will prove less difficult in the end.