There is an old Japanese proverb, "Nete ite koronda tameshi nashi," which translates as while you are sleeping don't fall down while trying to do something.  This statement applies best to the dojo on the weekends.  So many times we stay out late or don't get a good night's rest and find ourselves a little out of "it" when we come to practice on the weekends.  This is one of those things Sensei used to admonish us for a lot when I was a student.  It still applies today.

Anytime you are in the dojo you must be hyper aware.  The noren or curtain that hangs over the entrance bears the sickle or kama, the symbol for peace and the Japanese word for peace is wa and the Japanese character ぬ or nu.  It is a pun that together means kamawanu or beware.  In the olden days, students were judged by their conduct at every moment while they were in the dojo.  Therefore they had to be en garde at all times or in other words awake.

Today nobody is that strict anymore so the atmosphere is more relaxed and students can have fun at the dojo.  That is fine and I guess the way of the world today.  But, wouldn't it be nice to have your feet firmly rooted in the present while keeping an eye on the past?  Please approach your training with both eyes wide open so that you can be aware of everything you are doing.

wake up