The Alchemical Dojo

Being at war with myself in a world I didn’t understand, I got tangled into a dark world of addiction and destructive behavior at a very young age. In a fatherless household, I grew up as a ball of directionless anger. Underneath it all was an inner spirit, waiting to be uncovered. All I needed was a guide, a “wise man” to show me the way. The wise man appears to people in various forms and in a variety of settings.

“The ultimate aim of the Art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat,” saidGichin Funakoshi, “but in the perfection of the character of it’s participants.” The message may have been surrounding me my whole life, but it never broke through until I heard it in a martial arts dojo. My quest for spiritual growth transformation began for me the day I began training.

Martial arts symbolized self-discipline, focus and purpose. The Sensei or Sifu (Master) represented the mythical philosopher sage and the dōjō was a Hall of self-discovery. If anyone is under the illusion that to begin martial training requires one to be in a healthy sate of mind or body, I’m here to dispel that misconception. I walked into train the first day burned out from extreme drug and alcohol abuse – full of self-loathing and anger. Situations were going from bad to worse in my life and the torment of my mind was becoming unbearable. I hid it as I was accustomed to doing, but it was writ large in my eyes. At my lowest, they accepted me and brought me in. Continue reading “The Alchemical Dojo”