“Always Learning”

Will Grilliot

Ni Kyu Gi Yu Honbu Dojo 


After the most recent seminar at the Gi yu Dojo, I decided to reflect on my pursuit of the warrior way. As I have gone through life, I have focused on acquiring as much knowledge as I could about any topic that anyone would teach me; to me, there is nothing better than learning. My belief has always been that the pursuit of knowledge is what defines your successes in life. When you have failures, those learning moments are just as-- if not more important than the lessons you set out to learn, because they teach you a more valuable lesson about yourself. I asked myself recently, “Why am here?”  The more I thought about that question, the more I realized the pursuit of knowledge was driving me, among the many other benefits I am getting from the martial arts. Budo was something totally foreign to me, but there was a room full of people I could tell wanted nothing more than to help me achieve what I sought. I craved their skill and confidence. As I progressed and started understanding how little I actually knew, I also started learning about myself. What am I made of?  Will I quit at the first sign of challenge, resistance, or hardship?  Time and time again I failed, but time and time again I kept trying, which is the REAL lesson of Budo:. Always endure and continue on. For example, when I began training for my Purple Belt, I felt pretty confident about most of my required techniques/skills for the exam. I was able to grasp them fairly quickly and refine them. However, the technique Koshi Nage eluded me. That simple hip throw frustrated me. For six months I trained in anticipation of my test, but I was still not executing Koshi Nage effectively and efficiently. Then, about a month before my test, I cleared my mind and reminded myself why I was at The Gi Yu Dojo pursuing Jissen Koryu Budo. I was there to learn! In all my failures with Koshi Nage, I decided to learn a small lesson in each one, every time. Once my purpose for Budo was re-established, all the stress/frustration melted away. Even if I failed my exam, I told myself, it was worth it to learn from it.

 Thankfully, when my test arrived, I was successful.

 The truly exciting part of training and challenging oneself through Budo is knowing you will fail many times. From that failure you must make a decision to learn and persevere or give up.