CHRONICLES OF THE DOKA
Part 5 in a continuing series: 84 days in the life of an American sensei in 1999
The martial work I have done both as a student and a sensei over the last three decades has brought me to an intriguing place in life. I’ve changed greatly since my first dojo experiences in 1968. When the pebble of change drops, its waves affect everything. We are all awash in this great shifting sea because it’s been hailing pebbles on top of all of us since time began. Mixed with my exuberance about the future however, comes a heightened concern of the unknown.
The young metaphysical warrior, Dharman, Truth Seeker, shares my feeling. He’s fresh out of college. His optimism looms large. His infectious, dream-fulfilling potential wells up in both of us. He desires to become a career martial art teacher, so he mentors with me daily. We talk and laugh over long organic lunches. But behind our playful bravado lies a more serious demeanor. We are on career quests. Important inner questions arise. Will we slay our beasts and find our martial grails? Are grail and beast two faces of the same coin?
The wise Doka patiently waits with his spiritual bow drawn, poised to kill illusions of the mind.
The martial arts are being strangled by superficiality in the United States. This stranglehold was well in place when I began study in 1968. I just couldn’t it see it then. So I suffocated along with the rest of the martial community. In most American dojos you can hear the students gasping for spiritual air. They are not white from too much gi wearing. They are pale from the lack of vitalizing cosmic breath. The fight lust keeps them intoxicatingly high. It may get them to their next belt but the martial art’s superficiality sedates most from looking inward.
Good martial artists must learn to kill. Martial death-taking however, is a ritual killing of the old, worn out skins that no longer serve us.’ My poet friend, Dale once stated, “Carpe Luceum, Seize the light!”
It’s a far better scream than, “Kill the damn darkness!”