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The Gift of the Present

No Blind Community Martial Arts classes this morning, so Andrea and I had probably one of our last slow mornings for quite a while. Over breakfast, Andrea looked at her Instagram, and she noticed that the Saturday open mat at Studio 540 was now from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. She noticed at 11:00 AM, and we live in La Mesa. 540 is in Solana Beach. We hustled and, thankful for light traffic on the weekends in the late morning, we headed out to get in some jiu jitsu. (“Honey, could you stop by the gym, I think you’re running low on jiu jitsu.”) We made it for the last hour. Some good rolls, and I got to work with my good friend who introduced me to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 7 years ago. (He prefers to keep a very low profile, so I won’t mention him by name.)

Before I moved to San Diego 17 years ago today (Yes, today is the 17 year anniversary)I had only dabbled in martial arts. Kung fu for a year or so in high school, Bujinken Ninjutsu for 6 months when I was in my 20s. Beyond that, not much real training. I wouldn’t go on to study martial arts with any real consistency until August of 2005, when I began learning from Soke-Shihan Scot Conway. (At the time, his full martial arts title was Soke-Kiyoshi). Now, Andrea and I teach Guardian Kempo and its related arts in a dojo we inherited from our friend and instructor. This will be the first full calendar year we’ll be responsible for our own school.

The move to San Diego 17 years ago was scary. The process of earning a black belt under Grandmaster Scot was challenging and had some moments which inspired fear in me. Beginning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu had its own set of fear inducing moments. Running our own dojo is its own kind of scary. The key thing to remember is this. It’s ok to be scared. Let the fear work for you. Don’t be a slave to it. Don’t brace against change, make friends with it. When you can do this, you can accept the gift of the present moment. The time is now.

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