The Touch

It is only natural that the martial arts are closely linked and interwoven with the healing arts. The hand that slays and the hand that soothes is one.

Ever since I began practicing karate I've suffered many accidents, many of these mishaps were overcome, others have had a lasting effect. There are some movements I can no longer do. All could have been avoided with a dose of common sense and shiatsu.

They used to say that all that happens to you doing karate can be healed doing karate. A catch-all phrase that more often than not meant suck it up. I carried over to the Violeta dojo a sprained back I got in Ochoa. When it acted up too much, an intravenous muscle relaxer was the solution. Then one day at practice Kimo saw me bent over sideways and asked me the cause. I explained. He told me to put my arm over his shoulder and to stand on one leg. He accupunctured my buttock with a knuckled fist. I saw the stars, then all pain subsided, just puf! went away. Shiatsu, he explained. Shiatsu.

We had been taught a few massages, but nothing like this. Now Kimo is into thai masage and all this is good. Although a little late for me.

I'm more careful now and am very aware of my body's signals. I truly believe in the healing aspects of kata, having taken some Tai Chi, and having at long last learned to breathe properly with movement.

A lot about this was glossed over in my time, unfortunately so. I've learned through my own painful experience that the hand that slays must also be the hand that heals, that opposites must meet, that life must dance with death, and death with life. It is all part of the path one walks in any martial art. Had I that knowledge years ago, that the shit that happens is all part of it.

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