Eyes of the lion

Once again I find myself at the edge,

Edge of the abyss,

You led me down this path,

When you said you would never hurt me,

You cut me to the core,

Deeper than anyone else has,

Left me to bleed to death,

Without a care in the world,

But I’ve been down this path before,

Rage,

Unbridled rage,

Anger flaming hot,

Like the blood of the Phoenix,

Pounding across my body,

Anger at being so foolish,

Anger at you betraying when I need to be strong,

I gave you all I had,

I thought you cared,

But that was another lie,

I was born to be the lone wolf,

Prowling like the angry beast I am inside,

I will not self destruct,

I will focusing this fire deep inside,

That I once lost,

But now it has returned in abundance,

Focusing it for the battle ahead,

The abyss will never claim me,

The fire will not engulf me in flames,

My Lion Eyes have returned,

The king is back,

Hungry to be at the top.

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A dream to say goodbye

As I kept waking up, my mind was like please let it be a dream, please let her still be my girl. It did this several times. Then I had a dream, she walked into this old crooky house towards me, we lay in bed, I held her for a time. I could feel her, like she was actually there in the real world, as I was stroking her arm, her lower back, stroking her hair and kissing her head as I use to. It was like I had been given a last chance to hold my woman tightly. I could feel her love, and this profound sadness. I was at peace, that I have only ever been when we would connect and cuddle each other. I could feel that she was starting to fade from my physical touch, I was panicking desperate to hold her, just a bit longer I thought, just a bit longer. I said to her please don’t go, she slowed down fading. I said to her will I ever see you again. She said I do not know yet. I said will we ever be together again. She said with a sad voice, I do not know yet. I chased her as she was fading, towards the door. Her hair colour different from the real world, more like the green when we first started to be attracted to each other. I felt her love and her deep sadness. It wasn’t a no, it wasn’t a yes. It was up to fate to decide.

Adieu my Love, Adieu

They say eyes are windows to the soul,

I found the most beautiful soul of them all, 

Heart so pure,

Yet shrouded in darkness,

I thought my burning bright light could heal you,

I thought our love was meant forever,

I was your shield,

And you gave me peace,

Our souls fitting like two halves,

I had finally found my paradise, 

It was all so magical,

With you by my side I could face anything, 

You came to my crowning moment, dragged your family across the land just to support me,

They welcomed me with open arms,

You were my paradise

We have been through so much,

The great storms of life, battling against the indomitable ocean,

Wave after wave crashing over us,

I lifted you up in your darkness moment,

Prepared to sacrifice myself for you to survive,

My love for you is so strong,

My connection to you so pure,

We survived for a time,

Drifting on that great blue ocean,

Finding small islands of paradise,

I lived for those small moments,

They were all I needed,

When you let me in,

There was nothing on this world compared to that kind of joy,

Alas one day you needed to visit a paradise on your own, 

We reconnected so strongly,

Our love so pure,

I knew that you were coming back,

But our love would stay out on the horizon,

I realise for you to save yourself,

I had no choice but to let you go,

Perhaps one day, 

When you are whole,

And the tide of time heals all wounds,

We can journey to the horizon to find our love,

Adieu my love, 

Adieu,

It’s time we both grow stronger,

Adieu my friend,

Adieu,

I will always care for you,

Adieu,

Adieu,

Maybe one day we will find each other again.

Poem about my girl earning her black belt

My girlfriend is a black belt,

 A black belt,  a black belt,

 She is dating a black gi,

 A black gi, a black gi,

 My girlfriend is a shodan ho,

 Shodan ho, a shodan ho,

 My girlfriend is my shoho,

Shoho, Yay!!!!

All I want to do is help

I know it feels like darkness has clouded the world,

And your mind can be a lonely place,

Through the darkest times of our lives,

We often find our greatest strength,

Strength that I know you have within,

Courage like a thousand warriors,

A heart as glorious as the sun,

But when you struggle through the darkness,

Look out for my light,

My light is that of a lighthouse,

Showing you the path,

Showing that you don’t have to be alone,

For you will always be loved,

Love can lighten your path,

Your burden,

I know that you have the strength within,

To follow that light,

To become the woman I know you were born to be

New ways to release tension

My way of life is karate. It is who I am. It has led me into teaching kids to swim, apparently I am quite funny. It led me to love to a girl who is more special than she realises. 

I love karate, it shapes who I am and what I do. However everyone still needs an outlet, to release tension. In karate I am dedicated to being the best I can be, to go through this journey as a warrior. That when life gets hard I just train harder.

Recently I wanted to evolve my karate and fighting style. I started doing bodybalance classes. I didn’t want to go, my mateat work roped me into it, I didn’t want to do a naff class surrounded by ladies whilst making a fool of myself. It has elements of tai chi as a warm-up, yoga stretches, pilates to work the core, balance work to help you to be better on one leg, and meditation at the end.

First, it was the first time that meditation has consistently worked for me, first time I have been able to mentally relax. Second, It’s working on all areas I need to for martial arts, but usually ignore as all I want to do is get stronger and fight more. I noticed in less than four weeks a massive difference in my sparring, I felt looser and more relaxed, and my kicking has become not only sharper but high kicks feel so much more natural.

I couldn’t believe how much one class has improved a lot of aspects of my karate. When I have tried yoga, I have gone two months with it only just starting to work, one week or day off and it’s back to square one.

I have been really stressed recently, my mind has been in turmoil. And because of all these stresses I decided to go surfing last Saturday. I rode the first wave I tried (I first learnt 20months ago with a karate friend (surprise, surprise) where for a week we learnt to surf, karate on the beach, drink and repeat.

I was expecting myself to be clumsy, but I seem to have improved and I felt free. Free from all constraints and the different masks that I have to wear, free to be just me. Joy filled my mind, I got excited but I also found peace, It’s a perfect form of meditation. It released so much tension in me, that I was able to deal my problems as I should. This feeling lasted for days. I may have found my hobby away from not only life, but also karate.

Yesterday another mate (a former karateka, go figure)roped me into reading out one of my poems at a poetry gig. He was performing and wanted my support. I was nervous, and I couldn’t believe that I have done it. To express my inner feelings and emotions in front of others, I normal bare it all inside like a man feels like he should. I felt liberated.

I am being encouraged to write again, I need new outlets in my life. I feel like I am trying to find out, who I am all over again.

I’ve hid it for so long, but I am the creative type. I let fear stop me, as I often do. It’s strange, on how all the stress the last few months, but specifically the last few weeks has fostered this new growth within me.     I wouldn’t of gone to this bodybalance classes, I wouldn’t of gone surfing on my own, I wouldn’t of performed in front of people before. I wouldn’t of had the courage.

My way is of karate, but outside of my way, I wonder where my journey lies.

Goju and its many paths

When you start this martial journey, you do not know which path you will follow.

After rugby, I started in jistu (Japanese not Brazilian). I Liked it, I learnt the basics well (it gave me a solid foundation for karate) and I wanted to be a black belt, but it wasn’t the style or  the people for me. In a sense I failed, but it was the wrong path for me. No, thats wrong they were part of my path, I just had a different destination.

Goju ryu is the first thing I joined when I knew in a moment I had found my path. I can’t explain why but I was dedicated to it from the moment I walked into the dojo.

It has helped me gain great friends, led me to train in China, to achieving shodan then the coverted black gi of the nidan via the 30 man kumite.
My path seems to have been set, but I have met many great martial artists on my path. Of all my inner group of those I graded with (near similar low grades) to where I am now, I am the only one that has remained. 

Does that make me a better martial artist? It’s a question worth thinking about, I know for some family, hobbies, work or life come first. I understand that, but karate came first to me. I sacrificed a lot to get where I am. I trained a lot, and although some were more skillful than me at the time, my perseverance and dedication helped me to get to where I am.

One of my friends, trains in another country. Our style and ethos are his, and he has had a variety of experiences. He was always the joker in the class, and I became friends with him from the moment we first sparred. He always says how much he misses our style, our way. His work always came first. He has trained in three or four different countries, a bit of muay thai but mostly different styles of karate. This variety surely gives him a more open view on what karate is but should be.

I have another friend who was a nidan in another style of karate, joined us and started in the low grades. Alot of the ways my personal karate evolved was training with him outside of karate, experimenting and me being the higher grade (only in our style) enabled me to blend what I learnt in China, to what we do in karate.

Sadly he gave up karate, focused more on other creative outlets. He seems far happier, and yet goju is his personal philosophy. It defines who is, how he approaches life and lifes problems. The way he sees life is by the balance of go and ju. It astonished me that every chat, or problem we discussed, he related to goju and how the way of goju helps you deal with life.

My next friend was my first friend in karate, we had opposite styles of fighting, but we were both very creative in how we would approach karate, bunkai. We would fight each other extremely hard, full contact, scared but because we trusted each other that we had no intention of hurting the other, of knowing when to lay off if it got too bad. We could constantly push the boundaries.

When we drank, we would discuss life, interests but we would often bump heads when it came to karate. We respected each other so much that we would often argue our own ways on karate. It helped us to grow because we would challenge each other’s concepts. 

People often wondered why he seem to do so little in sessions, but would do so well in gradings. If they knew what I knew, that he was obsessed with karate (probably more than anyone I know), it was part of his every day life. To him doing something whilst pouring coffee, to how he walks, how he thinks. He sends himself to sleep thinking or kata and bunkai. Always self experimenting. Sure there are dangers to that, you do need to have a guide. He has dabbled in krav maga to further aid his understanding of karate.

All three men are like brothers to me, I trained with them as a kyu grade up to I got my shodan. It feels strange that I have stayed upon this path,  that they have gone on different paths. They could of reached the same path that I have walked, if they chosen to do so. They are equally obsessed with the path that is goju, I still consider them as equals.

We are all walking on a different path, one is exploring other karate styles, one karate is his philosophy on life, the other karate is his way of life, and I am still walking this path, focused on my goal. Yet all four of us are still Goju brothers, it still influences our lives.

The way of the martial artist isn’t set in stone. The way of Goju can lead us on to many different paths. When we get together, It’s like time hasn’t changed, we are still the same young men with the same passions, that main passion has helped each of us define who we are.

All four of us are walking the path of the Goju.