Back to Basics

Back to Basics Naziyah


Most of my training is done outdoors in rough forest terrain, and as such I don’t often wear my dobok/gi (martial arts uniform) because of Scotland’s crazy weather. However, when I do (and when I wore it indoors in classes) I’d often find myself reaching for my white belt instead of the black.
It was strange, but it felt very comfortable.

It reminded me of the very basis of the arts, and their foundations. It was humbling. It symbolized the beginning of a rough yet beautiful journey – one which would continue till my last breath.
The white may be the start of the journey, but black is by no means the end!

It’s easy to get caught up in the more advanced aspects of any field or art when we’ve been in it for so long, however, it’s important to revisit the basics and foundations of that art in order to keep our grounding stable.
Just like a house, no matter how beautifully designed it is or how magnificent the architecture may be, if the supporting foundations are weak, the entire house will come crashing down.

The beauty of martial arts (and any arts) is that there is always more to learn, always more to do. Just as I’ve learned in the sciences and all aspects of learning, the attainment of knowledge is never ending! The more we learn, the more we realise that the less we know! It’s fantastic!
It makes me thirst to learn more!

I still personally, till this day, consider myself a newbie in the arts, but I like that! It keeps me on my toes!
During those times when I can’t physically train due to ill health, it stands as a reminder that there is much more to the arts than solely the physical side.
There’s the mental, psychological and spiritual training too. There’s the research.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel proud of our accomplishments and how far we’ve come, but reminding ourselves once in a while that we’re all still students in life helps to keep us grounded =)
The longer I’ve been in the martial arts, the less physical it actually became.
This doesn’t mean you train less! Not at all! The physical training was, of course, higher than ever before, but with time and wisdom comes a whole new aspect of what the arts offer.
It becomes a way of life. A journey. A quest.
A quest to find a better ‘me’.

Remember to go back to basics.
Whether it be simple forms, stances, or something as simple as taking time to appreciate the journey itself.
Thank you all for being a part of this wonderful learning curve for me =)
Be good, be safe and be wise.


2 thoughts on “Back to Basics

  1. Gozo Shioda of Yoshinkan Aikido used to say “The secret lies in the beginning”… I remember reading that the old karate masters used to spend hours and hours every day practising the ‘basics’. Your article reminded me of this concept. And world martial arts legend Dan Inosanto is famous for eagerly putting on a white belt to learn something new. You have exactly the same spirit.

    I love your post Naziyah. Awesome. 🙂

  2. I remember most upon receiving my 1st dan, my Quanjiangnim telling me… “congratulations….you’ve just graduated from Kindergarten” It reminds me that there is never an end result to learning.

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