Actualization Time – the Martial Life

Don’t think! Feel. It is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.

~ Bruce Lee

Seems appropriate given the recent news of the “Bruce Lee” resolution that passed in the US Congress recently. But with all things Bruce Lee related, I’ve come to a conclusion in my recent weeks that this is the time of my life. I’ve come to realize that if I wished to do something that I should do it. It doesn’t sound like much, but everyday I’ve made it a point to keep my focus on my life.

One of my dilemmas in my life is that my education experience is different from my actual experience. My education experience (Master’s of Arts in Teaching) versus my actual experience – Aikido, my interest in martial arts, and writing.

It’s a dilemma that every young adult has to face, and a choice that we have to make. Where should I take my life? How should I get there? What do I have to do in order to get there?

Questions such as these fly through my head regularly. But not as much as they have been in the past month. I suppose I’m going through the one phase in life that most of my peers have already gone through:

The phase of embarking on your professional path.

Or “leaving the harbor” if you will. I feel that I have yet to leave the harbor. Due to circumstances that were beyond my control during my childhood, I wasn’t able to experience life as much as my peers. I am of course talking about my parents and how controlling they were (and still are to an extent) of what I experienced.

I feel that I can’t “make up” for what could have happened during my childhood – as much as I want to. In the past I’ve taken steps to “make up” for missed experiences. What I’ve discovered (after quite a few setbacks) was that I couldn’t “make up” for lost time, but simply be honest, present, in the moment, and truly express myself in any and every situation from here on out.  At least now is my chance to put into actualization of what I feel comes naturally to me. It is my hope that I am actually doing the things that will bring my future into fruition.

For writing, I’ve been writing in this blog and am writing for a Japanese culture blog currently. This is on top of my old martial arts blog as well as my experience writing for news publications since high school.

For martial arts – well this way of life for me is intertwined with exercise and fitness. I’ve never thought of exercise or fitness being a part of my life. It is unfortunate that this was not introduced to me earlier in life – physical exercise was looked down upon in my family (whatever reasons they provided then the reasoning’s now baffle me). Now exercise only provides positive energy for me; not to mention it’s a great release for the immense amount of energy I occasionally have. Aikido seemed to have provided a great release as well. Physically as uke I can thrust myself onto experiences nage – usually the black belts – so that I can improve as an uke and they as nage. This is in conjunction with the body/mind unity teachings in my dojo.

I find the coincidence cool that my journey and proclamation for the need of self-actualization now aligns with this years Asian-American month, the time of the year that has been historically for the past several decades dedicated to the preservation, continuation, celebration, and advancement of Americans of Asian descent. I’ve been involved with this kind of movement since college; it is my hope that I will play my part honestly and with vigor, righteous, and awesomeness!


Right now I’m packing for graduation ceremony tomorrow, as well as my retreat on Saturday and Sunday. I’m on the independent plan so since I’m not lodging at the campsite (yes, campsite!) I’m going to be lodging at one of the nearby dojos. “Nearby” is relative here, since I was told by that particular school’s dojo-cho that her dojo is near areas where there’s no cell phone coverage (no coverage = far away from civilization!). She also notified me that it’s going to be around 45 degrees at night (that’s around 7 degrees Celsius for the metric folks).

I will take this trip as a personal retreat of sorts, alongside its main purpose as a spiritual and martial retreat. I hope I don’t get attacked by raccoons! Wish me luck and till next time!


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