Cool perspiration flows down
hundreds of faces,
which are connected with their
hundreds of bodies
as they all face their reflections in
hundreds of mirrors.
These bodies have all experienced
an intensive training method,
exercising in the heat for six hours.
Once they had all entered the dojo,
they were assigned to prepare their bodies yet again
for another intensive test of will:
To not increase the stress on the current participants,
they all have their backs turned towards
the few groups of fatigued bodies
as they face off in battles of will and resolve.
Shihan Paul Taylor,
grandmaster of all the dojos that I have competed with,
was observing my match,
which coincidentally was occurring in the center of the dojo.
Once he commanded us to “Fight!”,
Joseph and I started to size each other up.
The martial arts have played a huge part in my life.
It has been a part of me for roughly
two thirds of my life.
It has helped me resolve many issues
that have occurred in my life,
all from losing weight
to resolving significant life issues.
In this case,
I was not only fighting for the recognition
of an increase in rank,
but also for the honor of the person
who recently went up against him.
Joseph is a man who is
whom had much more experience in this art
than I have.
Already he had me figured out.
Roughly ten seconds into the match,
he had spun around me in an unforeseen circle,
accurately hitting me in the weak points
in my rib cage and in my solar plexus.
He had come at me so fast that the
barrier breaking back kick
was seen only as a blur to all.
All that the judges have seen
was a shuddering, fatigued husk
crumbling from impact,
gasping for air.
“Up!” commanded Shihan Taylor,
as he clearly saw that the kick had
made me temporarily lose consciousness.
As my mind blurred,
the reality of the moment from the reality of my thoughts,
I thought I had seen one of my good friends,
whose back was turned to me,
shudder after the sound of impact.
Whilst I was experiencing the temporary unconsciousness,
I felt that my mind had but split,
escaping from my body at the moment
and focusing on another specific life event
that was occurring at the same time.
During this moment of astral projection,
it had come to my attention that this
match of poise and form was, indeed,
very similar to another incident that occurred in my life
a few years back.
I traveled back in time
And arrived on November of 2009,
sitting alone in my bedroom,
pondering about how to deal with his brother
whom was downstairs.
The person whom was downstairs
had committed an act that was so appalling
that he was forbidden to see his brother
upstairs by law.
I saw the inner turmoil that I had experienced that month;
I was conflicted with the grudge that I held inside against him
and the desire to forgive him for what he had done.
Suddenly my mind raced back
to the husk that was limp on the ground.
The mending of the
past and present
started to fade away,
as my mind returned to the
situation at hand.
I vaguely remembered the
advice Shihan Taylor gave me,
As the color in my skin and in my eyes
Started to return.
I remembered a saying
that my Sensei told me:
"Life will continue to
knock you down,
But what matters is that
You get back up each and every time."
With that in mind,
I regained focus,
and as the Shihan cried out
I immediately caught
Joseph off-guard with a
picture-perfect Superman punch,
Causing him to stagger back.
I included my own personal story
As a sort of allegory as to how I
personally see how one should
Live one's own life.
Don't ever try to hide from pain.
Pain is inevitable;
it cannot be avoided
because life is full of it.
you must work through pain.
When the going gets tough,
and when life knocks you down
with a barrage of attacks,
make sure that you give
as good as you receive.
Don't ever give up,
no matter how much it hurts.
Because the rewards are so goddamn satisfying,
and if there's anything that I have learned
in the short amount of time I have been
revolving around the sun, it is that
it doesn't matter how many times you fall.
What matters is how many times you get back up.
I know that the fight towards adversities
is often quite imposing,
and sometimes discouraging,
but so long as you can
take a hit and throw it back,
I know that you can fight the fight.