Announcements On being a budoka

Where are we now?

Be flexible, and adapt as needed.

Many things have happened since our last update. We resumed classes in person at the dojo at the beginning of July, following lessening infection rates in Maryland and the lifting of orders to have fitness centers (and dojo) closed. But cases in Maryland soon rose sharply again and although there was no new order to close the dojo we deemed it best to be prudent, and had moved classes outside by mid-July. The parks nearby give us a lovely outdoor option for training, and on days when thunderstorms are looming we hold classes online.

Meanwhile the fight against systemic racism and injustice in our country continues. Sometimes it seems quieter in the media, but it is not quieter in the places where it is being fought. For those of you who may feel attacked by the fight against systemic racism, I urge you to practice differentiating between the acknowledgment that ours is a very imperfect society in which some of us benefit greatly and unfairly from those inequalities, and the idea that the fight against systemic racism is denigrating to you personally. Be willing to grow, be willing to sacrifice, and be on the right side of history.

In regards to training, we are currently working with Kukishin Ryu jojutsu, preparing our bodies for Togakure Ryu ninpo taijutsu, and continuing to hone our Jinen Ryu and Togakure Ryu iaijutsu skills. More on these topics in a following post.

On being a budoka

Speaking out

I have been meaning to put up another post for a while now; training has been great and there’s lots to say about our continued work with iaijutsu. But not today.

Today we are protesting. Today we are speaking out.

In Baltimore and many cities across our country, and cities even farther out around the globe in other countries, we have massive protests against systemic racism, which was part of the founding of this country and still exists widespread today. Systemic racism is so deeply rooted in our country and culture that many find it hard to even see or acknowledge, especially if they have never personally been subject to its heel.

Many people have very different opinions on the best ways to protest, the kinds of actions and messages that are beneficial (or harmful) to a cause, and other such specifics. In debating that, all too often the original issue is obscured and the root problem is cast aside. The root problem is absolutely not how people are protesting. The root problem is systemic racism that is robbing people of their lives and leaving millions more living in fear and inequality.

All too often the scope of the problem, which is enormous as well as complex, cows us. All too often debates over what the “right” solution would be leaves us arguing over details and branching issues and circumstantial “what ifs”, and ignoring the bigger picture. We lose sight of speaking out and taking action against the root problem, even when that part is clear.

Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness. None of these things can be equally available in our country, or any country, when systemic racism and other forms of systemic discrimination exist.

Educate yourself, continually. Listen. Learn. And use your voice to speak out against injustice and inequality. Not just today, but every day.