It was 30 years ago, when I first stepped into a karate dojo.
For some people it might seem like a lot, however I feel like it was yesterday.
I remember the butterflies I had when I first entered the dojo.
It was not fear, more like curiosity mixed with anxiety, doubled by the desire to learn something new. There are so many lessons I learned during my journey, and to be honest, fighting is the one I used the least, maybe just in my competition days.
However, I use all the other lessons every day, and for this I am grateful to my first teacher.
Even after moving half way across the world, the old dojo is still close to me in some ways.
I remember 15 years ago, when I have just moved to Canada and I was doing my own training, running on the seawall, then stopping on the beach for some basic techniques and kata. At some point I saw someone looking at me quite insistent. I tried not to be pay attention and just be in my own world. Finishing my workout, I started running back on the seawall, and to my surprise that person was following me.
After a while, he came close to me and very polite he asked if I was from Romania. Seeing his face, I instantly recognized him. He was one of my team mates who started karate in 1986 in the old dojo in Romania!
Now, 15 years later we got together again to share memories and the book that tells our story.
The book brings together old students and their first teacher in a series of interviews and short stories about our journey.
Most of us are now spread around the world, and this book brings most of us together one more time.
Actually this is one the most important lessons I have learned in the old dojo:
“In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”
If you cannot read our book in Romanian, please find Miyamoto Mushashi’s Go Rin No Sho (The book of five rings).