So the season finale of the CW series “Smallville” was this past Friday – May 13th. I remember this TV series when it began in 2001, but I actually didn’t start watching the series till freshman year of college in 2003. Religiously I watched for several years, absorbing the potential life lessons that the young teenage Clark Kent was learning from his parents – the Kents – the lessons that will eventually created the Man of Steel. I guess you can say that I related myself to the character that was Clark (still do); the awkwardness, making relationship mistakes, etc. Though surprisingly enough it was not Superman himself that I greatly enjoyed about the series. It was the parents Jonathon and Martha Kent (played wonderfully by John Schneider and Annette O’Toole respectively) and Lana Lang (played for 6 seasons by the eternally beautiful Kristin Kreuk – she was my first crush – what can I say?).
But that’s for a different day. What I realized is that the ending of Smallville isn’t exactly an ending at all. It may seem like it since it is the end Clark’s journey of boyhood to manhood, for one must realize that it is only the beginning of his journey as Superman. I find this hard to swallow as much as I agreed with my statement. Why you ask?
…Because of my journey in Aikido. For those of you who are relatively new, I obtained my 1st Kyu (brown) back in March of this year, make my next belt the great black belt. I will not be eligible to test for it until December of 2012, and that’s assuming the world doesn’t end by then. I would have officially have been at my current dojo for 3 years this August, making that 5 years total in Aikido. A relatively short amount for any martial artist all things considered. I feel that I’m missing something however…
Aikido has a habit of attracting people away from their arts. Many of O’Sensei’s top students (and first generation instructors) came from other Japanese martial arts.
Hiroshi Kato & Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei: Kendo and Iaido
Koichi Tohei & Seiichi Sugano Sensei: Judo
Robert Nadeau Sensei: Judo & Ex-Marine
Kazuo Chiba & Hiroshi Tada Sensei: Karate
…just to name a few.
My Sensei tonight remarked that many of Aikido first generation teachers (which include the gentlemen above) left their arts not to learn something new, but to fulfill something that their previous training they felt had missed.
What about those of us who started in Aikido? Well, actually not true since I took 4 years of Shaolin-inspired Kung Fu from a school (that shall go unnamed) as a teen. Anyway, my question: is my martial journey limited to Aikido? This art deeper and much, much more invigorating and deadly than its critics paint it as and the arts true potential is outside of its techniques. But I can’t shake the urge to use my youth to explore other arts. Hell, I’m turning 26 this October, I still have at least 10 more years until my body starts showing signs of decreased regenerative capacity. I’m not going to abandon Aikido, I’m just a very curious alley cat.
So will my continuation of Aikido forbid me to test out other arts? Or will other arts only hinder my original Aikido training?
Till next time ladies and gents!
I’m guessing exploration will be based on the following:
1) Is your teacher cool with it?
2) Can you afford it?
3) Can you commit the practice time to 2 arts?
The only time I practiced two simultaneously was the kung fu/chin na days. Teacher taught KF 2x a week and chin na 1x. Honestly we could have stood a third KF session and 2nd weekly chin na session but teacher did not have the staff, time, or interested students!
Anyhow, it can be done if you find the right second art.
Maybe it’s personal, but after 17 years in the martial arts (Wing Chun, Western Boxing and a little BJJ) I still feel like something is missing. But I think that’s more the to point of the journey…forever hungry…forever learning.
Bob – I have a habit of thinking far ahead into the future. I’ll keep your words in mind.
CTK – Sounds like you should check out Aikido! In all due seriousness however I will agree that it is about the journey. Mine is just beginning and am looking forward to the next challenges.