Posts Tagged ‘Bujinkan’

It all starts with one.

One thought. One look. With one moment.

When looking back at my life and the decisions I have made throughout I can most times pin point it to one single event at the time. I most likely did not realize it there and then. Well, most times anyway. Sometimes it was a small seed that sprouted a thought that led to it. These were the times when I let my “gut-feeling” make the decision. That illusive intuition that we never can put our finger on.

It is a bit ironic as I can be very skeptical and I like to have facts and I want to know the how, why and when before I make a decision. Once I have made up my mind, I do not change it easily unless you can convince me with a good argument (yes I can be pig-headed). I can admit I am wrong… you just have to be convincing. Either way, the irony in this (before I lose my train of thought) is that when it comes to all the bigger changes in my life – I went on my gut-instinct. There was no hard facts and detailed plans or long decision processes. I just took a decision based one thought that grew and that somehow felt right.

The funny thing is, I have not regretted those decisions. Some where easy to take, some where not but I know that they were the right ones.

Sometimes I tend to think too much. Over-analyze things. I am trying to learn to be more open to just following my intuition. It is not easy though as we have all more or less been taught all our lives that logic prevails and that you should use hard facts and consider carefully before you go ahead.

I am getting better at it though. I believe that my Bujinkan training as something to do with it. Lately I have noticed that the more I try to think about doing a technique correctly the harder it is for me to do the Kata. If I try to just relax and go with the flow it just seems to work better. There is an element of focus as well obviously but maybe the shift is from a focus of doing a technique to a focus on your opponent and then the technique comes more easily. I have not figures this out entirely yet. It is a pretty hard shift for me to pin point to be honest.

Some days  I just feel that I can follow a technique naturally and then when I try to add an element to it and improve it then I focus too much on the separate elements of it and I loose any flow that I once had. It can be very frustrating. Then there are those days when I am just knackered from work and feel exhausted and my conscious mind is barely functioning but somehow the techniques flow better.

I guess that is one of the aspects of this art that I really enjoy. It triggers new ideas and new thought processes. It has made me more open to new ideas. It has made me realize that I really know very little about how I function and what I can do but at the same time I know much more than I ever did before. I know now that there is so much more to figure out and that is exciting. I have just about started to touch upon the basics of this art and I look forward to see where the flow takes me.

Oh… and when I decided to start with practicing Bujinkan? It was a split-decision based on nothing but a good feeling. I knew nothing of this art. I had never done any martial arts even though I knew of other types of arts. I just saw the ad and for some reason decided to have a look. Looking back, I actually think I decided to start even before I entered that first class to have a look. I have never regretted it.

I am just back from another great training session at the dojo. It was warm in there tonight. I am soaked and in dire need of a nice shower. Food first though and while I’ll rummaged through my fridge I realized that I’ve now been at the club for about 2 years.

It was in April 2009 that I started in the beginners class. I can’t believe it is two years already. It feels like it was yesterday that I turned up for my first class. I remember being nervous and excited at the same time. Nervous about what the others would be like and if I would make a complete fool out of myself. Excited because it seemed like fun and because I finally had the guts to try it out.

Today I still have those feelings when going to class. Maybe not as nervous as I was then but the nerves still play a part when we look at doing a technique that is somewhat new to me (which most ones still are). Mainly though I’m excited. I know I will leave feeling good. I know it will be exhausting, sometimes frustrating, bloody hard at times but always fun. There always a chance that some tiny little piece of the puzzle might click into place at that particular class. It can be a long time in between but when it does… it is the best feeling ever.

Two years. I still feel like a complete newbie and you know what… that is totally OK. I have a funny feeling I will feel this way for a long time, if not always. It just means there is more to learn, more to explore. More fun to be had.

Now to that shower…

So, the ever fabulous Nikki from “Women Are From Mars” has awarded me (amongst others) the Stylish Blogger Award. Holy crap! I am pretty gobsmacked to say the least.

I am trying to come up with something clever or witty to say or at least stylish right now but my muse has deserted me. She is probably out celebrating knocking back rum&cokes or Jaeger-bombs or similar àpropos beverages. This obviously means that further postings with a hung-over muse will be somewhat of a challenge so I will already now apologize for any weird forthcoming posts.

As a receiver of this fab award, I have to do the following:

  • Present seven things about yourself.
  • Name about a half-dozen bloggers you think deserve the award. Contact those people.
  • Create a link back to the person who gave you the honor.

So here we go…

  1. I have a degree in Sociology – and still find all that very interesting.
  2. I spent several summers when I was a student working as a hostess in the yacht marina – meeting, greeting and charging people for the privilege of anchoring in our town marina.
  3. I speak 3 languages fluently – Swedish, German and English. Dabbled in French and Spanish but have unfortunately forgotten most.
  4. I have three tattoos.
  5. Since about 2 years I train Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu and absolutely love it.
  6. I love food – I eat most things including any veggie known to man (well haven’t tried all..yet) though I love red meat a bit too much to give it up.
  7. I love animals – I get more cookoo over a puppy or kitten than most babies… just the way I roll.

And now to spread the good grove on:

And no, you do not need to feel obligated to follow-up on this.

Me, I will go to bed as it is way past my bedtime now. Muse will most likely stumble in late in a drunken haze demanding a kebab… dream on is all I can say to that. Nite ye all!

OK, 2010 is over very soon… it has been an interesting year. I have tried to compile a list of highlights for me this year.

  • I realized that I loved my newly bought car and that I had forgotten how much fun it was to driiiive. Yay!

  • Learned to snowboard and went on not one but two winter holidays! (Yes my credit card was pretty exhausted by this…).

  • Realized that I needed to change jobs. From sales to something different. I worked in a great team with great people but a change was needed. I found something new and so far… so good, even if I am mad busy at times.

  • I started blogging! Then went from blogging anonymously to blogging as just… me.

  • Continued with Bujinkan Budo Taijitsu and realized more and more that I truly enjoy and love it.

  • Spent a good few days at the west coast in Sweden soaking up the rays on the beach with my sister. Sun… bliss!

  • Had a blast at my Mum’s 70th birthday party with the whole family gathered.

  • Spend some days with my brother and his family and just chilled out.

  • Gained confidence in myself and what I can do.

  • Had laser eye surgery done – was very scary (as I can be a total scaredy cat) but so worth it! No more glasses or contacts!!

  • Spent a brilliant weekend with the girls in Prague. DARK beer anyone?

  • Got a new tattoo!

  • Came to realize a few new things about myself.

  • Made some new friends.

  • Had a fun Christmas work party and a mad Christmas party with the club. Oh the laughs!

It has been a year full of new things and new experiences and I wouldn’t have wanted it any different. Thank you all for reading about my ramblings and stumblings through my life this year. Bring on 2011!


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Oh lord… what a night! There I thought that the Christmas party with the work crowd was mad and what happens…I go out with the fabulous people from the Bujinkan club. A great meal in Alvito’s in Leixslip (highly recommended!) and then off to The Courtyard for way too many drinks. So many laughs, jokes, silly conversations, big hugs, serious discussions, more hugs, more laughs…and Jaeger-bombs…

Who’s idea was it to start drinking those?? For those who do not know what it is…you fill a glass with Redbull and then you drop a schnapps glass filled with Jaegermeister in it and knock it all back. Oh yes!!

At 03.30 we were first gently and then not so gently told to go home… ushering drunk people out of a pub at closing is not an easy task (been there, done that). So we all stumbled home, the stumbling was obviously due to the ice and snow on the sidewalks and nothing to do with any alcohol consumption…

What a fabulous night with some of the nicest guys and girls that I have the pleasure to know and train with!

Today I am however paying the price for thinking Jaeger-bombs mix well with beer and other drinks… Well, I think I will retire to my bed again for a bit because in a few hours some of our neighbors are coming over for a civilized wine, cheese and crackers session. December party season in full swing! 😀

If you have read my blog you all know that I have trained martial arts now for over a year and a half. Bujinkan Budo Taijitsu to be precise. You will also have seen my numerous posts (or FB updates) where I again and again go on about how much I enjoy it, nay in fact love it.

In this moment of time I am one of two girls that train in the club. The rest are all lads. Lately I have thought about why there are so few women in contact sports. OK, I understand that it is not everyone’s cup of tea (guys or girls) to spar and getting hit. That’s fine. However, the ratio is still very uneven. Especially in something like Bujinkan or even in full contact sports such as ice hockey etc. Yes, I know there are women ice hockey leagues but let’s be honest here..they are adapted to be more gentle and it is not the same.

I have tried to get other women to join the club. Some turn up and might even start with the beginners course but then the minute they get hit, get a bruise or experience slight pain they back off and never come back.

Women go on about self-defense and go to great lengths to learn to shout “No” at the top of their lungs while attempting to kick to the groin. Which is very good and more women should know how to defend themselves, as this is the unfortunate reality we live in. BUT… if you never been hit, how will you know how to react? Will you freeze up? Most do. I know that the first time we had a sparring session in the club, it was quite a shock to my system when I got a hard punch to the face even with the head-gear on. The guys in the club make no concessions just because I am a girl and that is how it should be. If I cannot learn to fight against a guy in a somewhat regulated sparring session how will I ever handle myself if the situation would occur outside the club? Tell the guy he should be nice? Yeah riiight, that will work…

It seems that the gender roles in our society are still so deeply rooted. Women should be fragile and depend on guys to protect them…oh let’s let them take a few self-defense courses and leave it at that. Women should not get bruised or even know how to throw a proper punch. A women knowing how to defend herself or (shock horror!) being aggressive… that is not on! I have heard of cases where boyfriends/husbands of women training at the club have come down to give out about that their women are bruised and that people are too hard on them. And then..after a while the girls leave as their partners do not agree with what they are doing.

This pisses me off. What’s even worse is that so many girls feed into the whole fragile, “poor me, victim” role-shit. I get more raised eyebrows and skeptical looks from other women than men when I tell them what I do. Most guys actually seem to think it is pretty cool but many women look at me like if I have lost the plot totally… “how can you do this, why do you let someone hit you, oh my god you did what?” etc. Oh and a few insinuations about that I must be butch for doing this. FFS! Even if I was…so what? I am obviously not what a “real” women should be according to the rules we pretend do not exist now that we are all equal… Please!

The very sad reality of today is that there seem to be just as many women as men out there that hold onto the traditional gender roles. No, I do not expect everyone to start with martial arts but please do not try to make the rest of us feel like we are doing something “unnatural”.

So, to all the women out there. Your femininity does not mean that you have to be a victim or herd others into this role. You can be just as capable as any guy. We have unlimited wells of strength within us. Use it goddamnit and walk with your head held high. In other words…don’t take any shit!


Image via Wikipedia

My knees are sore, my arms are bruised, my legs are shaking and I am generally in bits… and I haven’t felt this good in almost 7 weeks. I finally made it back down to the dojo this evening for the first time in ages. Just spent two solid hours ground fighting and grappling, both going through the forms in proper order and full on contact ground fighting. I have been pinched, hit, thrown, choked and kicked at and I gave back as much as I got.

I am exhausted but this is the good kind of exhausted. The kind were you are still smiling and the world seems to smile back at you. No stress lingers in the body and I feel relaxed. The shower will be blissful and the bed beckons.

What a great way to end a day! 🙂 Bring on the next time…Saturday!!