by Peter Cockram

Father and daughter listening to the words of Shihan Arel at the 2004 Florida Jukido Seminar in Palm Coast FL

 

We live our lives suffered under the weight of laziness and complacency. Killing our spirit with each decision to do as little as possible, finding the path of least resistance only achieving goals of mediocrity. We hide our hearts under masks of the "daily grind" and then come home to watch some short story on the TV that fulfills only the spinning of a clock, hiding from our own life, switching off what we don't like with the remote.

Is this life to be squandered to the end, death without life? Are we casting our greatness down like beggars without hope of dreams come true, hoping for something to save us from ourselves? Are we fading into death day by day? Birth to this world in a ripple of a miracle, only to forget over time that we are still the miracle we started out as. So, eyes closed, standing in the dark under a full pitch sun, more shadow then soul we wait impatiently in lines, honk horns, pass children playing, hoping the hands of a clock would move faster, forgetting each second is a gift.

Are we deep and wide like the night sky? Aren't we made from the same stuff that shines in the heavens? Isn't the spark in your eyes a glimmer into eternity, past and present? Will we let our minds sleep, or will we wake with the Kokondo-ka fire in our hearts? We are of the warrior way, fighting for our life, pounding hearts, gasping lungs, balanced minds, believing dreams and remembering who we once were and who we will always be. We are warriors fighting with the tide of the universe at our backs; we work with balance not against it, floating over gravity like stones in water. Knowing that if we have to fight, we fight along side allies like;

Justice

Courage

Benevolence

Politeness

Veracity

Honor

Loyalty

It is my humble honor to even speak of such things, but my Sensei (Master George Rego) on the trip home from the seminar in Seattle opened my sleeping eyes to many things. Some things so profound I could never convey them beyond that one moment in time flying home at 30,000 feet over Texas.

One thing is clear to me now though, and that is with practicing Jukido Jujitsu, the masters I've met, the smile of Shihan Paul Arel and his strong & tender benevolence, and my Sensei in which my gratitude is beyond words and can only be shown through time and action, I have found myself again. Sensei reminded me of many things that night on the trip home and it profoundly affected me.

So I say let humility and politeness lead your way, because we are truly everything and still nothing, for this will open doors to the kingdoms better then keys and cannons. Loyalty for your Sensei, a dept never fully paid. Loyalty, for pulling us from the dark furnace of complacency, leading us on, and showing us all what courage we can capture in our hearts. Honor, because your rewards are greater then your efforts like the friendships that we build in the dojo. With each breath show veracity and you are assured victory over any obstacle, just like the grass that breaks the concrete sidewalk. Have the courage to let your heart be broken so you can rebuild it, change your mind so you can make it up, save your soul so you may be free, open your eyes because what you see is your self, and above all have the courage to get up if you fall down, remember you are a Kokondo-ka and each day is new. Justice it seems is truly handed out by God and if you live your life within the codes and laws that are perpetual in nature, and forever true, you will see enemies fall, masters release, and innocents stand tall and free.

All these words are meaningless compared to what is in our hearts. But we are Kokondo-ka, we are the grass, breaking concrete.

"We realize that we learn more in many ways from suffering defeat than winning every conflict we face in training." -- Rachel Matheney

"To also have good Jukido spirit you must train, train, and train!" -- Ilya Liahunchyk

"Every task we meet in life is governed by how we approach it." -- Chris Smith

"By assuming that they would die tomorrow they (samurai) did their absolute best to live an honorable, righteous, and noble life today!" --Sensei George Rego