“(When I was 12 years old), I saw Kote Gaeshi. I knew immediately it was something different. I said to myself : This is what I want to do later.”
I always listen to what others say with extreme attention. They really mean what they say or they really need to conceal what they think. The path to their mind winds through their words and silences.
There is often a lack of consideration for what a child sees and says, sometimes even to the child one was. Yet when I recall my own words and dreams, I wonder at the amount I have achieved. I am a martial art teacher. I have been the student of great masters. I have entered an ancient sword school, sleeping at the Grand Master’s house. I have had hundreds of students. And what is more, I am still studying!
All these deeds have their root in a child’s dreams, insights and questions. I had to dispel greed, growing interest for new objects, immersion into social life, friendships that last the time of a sight. I had to stick to those questions as to how does a weak boy become a strong man, how does a man use his strength going by his intelligence, how does a kid grow to stand up to what he believes in, how does a woman look into a man’s eyes saying “No” with calm and composure. All this has grown into a dojo, a life dedicated to studying and, after, to teaching.
It has been done with the trust of my masters, of my friends, of my students. It has been done with my own trust that what worked for my masters would work for me.
Then, sitting in my dojo, I go back to the hour I witnessed Kote Gaeshi for the first time.