Thursday, April 19, 2007

Martial Arts... or not

The Changing Role of A Student, part 5

After a few years as I got older and life moved on, I dropped my active pursuit of self-hypnosis and the overall study, but only into stasis, while I focused on life itself and other things.

I kept trying to pursue martial arts as my next obsession, but it wasn't working out for me. I had a sensei I was extremely fond of, for an unnaturally short time, named Larry Reynosa; he taught Aikido in a gorgeous wooden dojo he built, with garden, in his suburban backyard in Ventura county. Every time I would determine to make the time and commit to it, I would get promoted at work yet again, or some Major Crisis would occur at work, and I would end up working literally day and night.

I refused to get 'into' the art without being able to genuinely 'do it right', so it kept being something I put off, and put off. I felt such angst about it, as I really respected Reynosa and wanted to get serious, but I guess life is a matter of priorities, and work was always more a priority for me than anything else.

When I moved to Los Angeles, I petitioned to join a dojo I'd been hoping to, in Redondo Beach. There was a sensei named Philip Skornia (for Zen do Ryu Karate) who had quite a reputation and I was delighted to get in. Not long later, sensei gave me some tickets to a talk a guy he knew was giving. It was nearby and I went out of curiosity.

I can't remember his name, but it turns out this guy had been the personal trainer for a paraplegic -- who completed the triathalon. He gave a talk on what you might call mind stuff. He touched on hypnosis, and I was fascinated, since all my studies had been limited to books and self-hypnosis; as a teen, nobody I knew was interested, and so he was the first adult I'd met who seemed knowledgeable and took it seriously.

I talked with him after the lecture and to my astonishment, discovered that there were actual schools, we're talking long-term formal night schools (vo-tech schools, they call them where I live now). I think my eyes were big as saucers at the idea of actually 'formally' learning about it and meeting other people into the subject.

I investigated all the schools I could find, and went and talked to them, and decided on one that, as irony would have it of course, was about the farthest from me it could be and still be humanly possible to attend. Between work, school, and karate, I was spending 4.5+ hours a day, mostly on the 405 in L.A., which is enough to make anybody stark raving mad (explains a lot I suppose).

It wasn't long before I had to make a choice: do the classes for my school, or do the dojo. I was really torn up about it because I'd been trying for years to have enough time for martial arts, and I was honored to study at the dojo I'd found, but it had always been something -- always, until then, work. This was the first time something besides work had been in competition for my time, and I couldn't believe I would consider for even a moment, doing anything else.

But my primary drive since age 18 had been to explore and fix myself -- a really bizarre and lousy childhood had done a number on me -- and self-hypnosis was my primary method of choice, since I couldn't afford the time or money for anything else. I felt the time to continue dealing with my internal issues was as soon as possible; MA could technically be done at any time. So I resigned from the dojo and immersed myself in school.

In the end, after all that drooling over the honor of the sensei, I hardly saw the man but in passing and a few conversations. Tragic! Ah well.

next up: part 6

Graphoanalysis and Graphotherapeutics


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