Sempai: "Dude, I think I'm going to get back into Kyudo. They're offering a two-month course at Kojo-koen in Takaoka."
Me: "Really? Can anybody join?"
"Yeah, doesn't matter who you are as long as you pay the cash."
"Wanna join? It's Tuesday and Friday mornings from 10 - 12?"
(Thinking to myself in my head: "Mmmm, Kyudo??? I'd rather just worry about aikido. And 10-12 in the mornings? I'm kinda trying to do my own English lessons on the side for cash, I can't be starting Kyudo as well right?")
"Nahh dude, I'm kind of busy."
After I went home ... with a lot of that open time I have, and just thought. I thought and thought and thought a lot. I guess that's how a lot of my time has been spent. It sounds boring, but when you drown it with coffee and think about all the other little details of things you should do, it really feels pretty busy ... hectic even ... actually apocalyptic at times.
So I thought, and then a part of me stood against the rest of me:
"Are you f$%#ing SERIOUS!?!?!?!...
You came to Japan exactly for this reason! You would have done tea ceremony if it was offered from the beginning, but instead you found exactly what you wanted in aikido. Well, things changed, and you're trying to get back ... but are you seriously going to whine about not being able to practice budo in Japan while being offered this course in one of the coolest budo of all? TAKE THE FLIPPING CLASS!!!"
I then talked to my sempai face to face about joining and he took me immediately to the park to sign up.
And so now, two mornings a week, I practice Kyudo and I absolutely love it. Should I have started it earlier? That's a stupid question. I'll just write down some of the details about the class now, and elaborate with funny stories and revelations later on.
(a picture of the Takaoka Dojo, the grass is more overgrown right now and looks cooler I think, also there's usually one more target on the left side)
Class Members: Tuesday mornings: Me, my friend, Sensei, and three of his senior members present solely for the purpose of helping me and my friend. Any of you budo practitioners should be messing your pants after reading that, because it's an unbelievable oppurtunity! 2 students and 4 teachers! All to ourselves for 2 hours! Friday morning, there are two other members, which hardly affect Sensei's time. If that's not enough, there's an evening class offered as well, which has 18 students. I don't even know how they all fit in the dojo holding bows. And, there's only Sensei and one senior member helper. I guess I'm pretty lucky for my open mornings after all.
Sensei: Strong, funny, aware. Excellent qualities. I've come to like this guy a lot, and have built quite a bit of trust with him. In my budo experience, the people, and for a student's sake, the teachers, are what are most important, and with that, I progress happily through this two month course.
(this is a picture of the actual inside of the Takaoka Dojo)
But not too important. I still have other things to do ... like drink beer ... or at least the cheap imitation stuff I can afford to consume.