SHARING THE FEELING OF THE BLACK BELTS: My Hajime Experience

By John DeVries

We all understand that growth happens when we venture out of our comfort zone. Yet how often do we actively seek out the uncomfortable? Training in a martial art provides me with an opportunity to explore the uncomfortable. However, with close examination I train in a supportive community with likeminded people whom I have grown to trust. So how then do I place myself in an environment where I will experience major growth?
Answer – Hajime.

This year the Hajime class at the Brisbane Dojo was not on the extreme end of the scale. Thank goodness. It still had plenty of moments when I felt my lungs burning and my body screaming at me to stop. You enter something like a Hajime class with the knowledge that you will reach your limits. What you don’t know is whether you will surrender to the little voice telling you to stop, or whether you find that bit extra to keep going. It is a moment you cannot train for; you just have to experience it.

Hajime class is not a 2-hour event with a start and finish. It carries on long after you leave the mat. Physical recovery from these events always takes time. The following days my body took a while to readjust. My mind however, received the most benefit from the experience. I found myself during the week that followed, not allowing myself to take the easy option. I had chosen to do Hajime to remind myself of a particular mindset.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having a slack night and staying home every now and then. However, I do need to remind myself that life sometimes doesn’t give us a choice to take it easy. Training should not start and finish at the dojo door. Hajime brutally reminds me of this. Helping me to understand that I always have more left, when I feel we have nothing. Even when we hit rock bottom there is always a little wiggle room. We just have to look.

I strongly recommend everyone to have a Hajime journey. 

Osu

John

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