Hmm? How could you have an introduction, never mind a reintroduction to your own body? You would figure that you live in your body, so you should be aware of it…. You sleep, eat, drive, and breath in this shell constantly don’t you? I know my own body. I certainly wouldn’t need an introduction to it. Right?

Well, as I have continued to go to class, I have noticed, that one of the hardest obstacles I have had to overcome has been to do just that, to re-learn my own body. I wasn’t even truly aware of how my body moved or what it looked like when standing in a kamae. I had thought that if I just copied those movements of sensei, or the senior students, then I would learn eventually. Only I wasn’t seeing much improvement, and my sensei had to tell me the same things over and over again. "Crystal, where is your foot pointed? I s that at a 45° angle" HA! I was sure I had it right this time… I would look down at my feet, hmm, nope no where close. I realized that I was spending all my time focused on Sensei’s body movements and kamae, as opposed to my own. Only when I turned my attention inside, trying to really feel my own body, did I become aware of what it was doing.

Ninjitsu is a well founded martial art, but like any other art, it takes a lot of dedication, time and patience. Musicians use their hearing to produce wondrous notes; they use percussion, or wind instruments, string or voice. Painters use there sight to convey various pictures and feelings with colors and textures; they could use brushes or fabric as their instruments. We know and expect dancers to be able use their body to move fluently and gracefully. They use their body as their instrument through which they speak. Why would we expect a martial artist to not be truly aware of their instrument, their own body. Only when I began to think of Ninjitsu as an art like all others, I had to become more aware of the instrument I was choosing to use. Since then I have been more aware, and been able (at least I hope) to pre-empt that nagging question… "Crystal, where is your foot pointed?" Now if I could just remember to bend my knees……