Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aloha, and farewell my students

The Party was a wonderful success! The dojo was filled with parents, siblings, and students. The group had brought so many healthy alternatives to snack on: vegtable platters, Melon platters, grapes. Also, we had enough junk food to satisfy an army: Chips, cupcakes, cookies.

We gathered around and watched action clips from classic Martial arts movies such as "Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee ( his fight scene with Ohara.. Wow.. It's nearly inhuman how fast Bruce Lee moved!), "First Strike" with Jackie Chan ( the Ladder scene! Fantastic display of using so many unusual objects to defend himself effectively. I can never look at drywall, brooms, or ladders the same way.), "The One" with Jet Li ( This movie really didn't do him justice to his skill, but wow.. I couldn't resist the special effects scene of him fighting himself in the shower of electical sparks.), and "Ong Bak" with Tony Jaa ( The "running away from the bad guys" scene. I chose this as the final clip because I could teach my students that we train really hard so that we can run faster than our opponents, and get away from the fighting as soon as possible. Tony Jaa made jumping over moving cars, and over/through crowds look like simple actions. I made it a point to tell my students not to try this at home.). I made sure that the clips contained minimal violence, well as minimal as a Martial arts fight scene could have :-), and no swear words or adult content. Wow.. that was a challenge, but I was successful.

My students gave me a wonderful card which had a prose that truly touched my heart.

"Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time carrying our hopes for love, joy, and celebration. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer, and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird's delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning, and that laughter is life's sweetest creation." ( I was told that these words reminded my student of me, and of my teachings during class.)

I was also presented with a lovely Lucky Bamboo planter. It's beautifying my dining room as I type. I was rewarded with so much moments of appreciation, and overflow of gratitude from these students. Little moments of just meeting each others eyes, recognizing the sorrow within us, understanding that this is a moment that needs to happen, and respecting the ongoing path of each person. I was warmed by the wonderful moments of interaction between my students parents and myself. Truly, it felt like a community had gathered together for these brief moments.

I didn't cry. Not there.. not in front of my students. I was able to control my mind, and present a joyful, supportive, and encouraging face to them. I introduced the name of the next black belt that will be taking over this dojo after the renovations will be finished on the facility, and gave the students a brief introduction to what a kind, knowledgeable, and enjoyable Sensei he will be for them. The students walked away with faces filled with hope, and expectation for the future.

But now.. at 3 am in the morning.. the tears fall, and I let them because they are a sign of how much this past half year has meant to me. It was such a great experience, and I will cherish the memories.

I was approached by the supervisor of my facility, and asked how long it will take for me to reach black belt in Kyokushin so that I can instruct. I had to smile, and respond that it may take a few years. I was told that as soon as I am able to teach that it is expected that I return and open a Kyokushin dojo in the facility. What a compliment!

Who knows.. perhaps I am being called to walk down that path, but right now it is time for me to focus on my training and improve my knowledge.

Goodbye Mizu Dojo, and Aloha to all of my students:

A Aloha = love, friendshop, hello, good bye
L Lokahi = working together for a common goal, sticking together as friends, as family, as a nation
O = Ohana, family, not necessarily blood-related, everyone helps everyone, noone is left alone ( remember the movie Lilo and Stitch : Ohana, means family, noone is left behind or forgotten )
H = Ho'oponopono = a problem is discussed and all sides are heard, either there is an agreement after that or not, but after all has been said and heard, not matter what, there is ho'oponopono, people don't talk about it anymore ( pono means righteous in Hawaiian )
A = again Aloha

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