Many of us who practice the martial arts, in my case Goju Ryu, learned the same in lands distant both geographically and culturally from their origin. Some may have the privilege to at one time visit these lands at some point in their martial arts experience and even practice there for short or extended period of time. Yet there are those of us whose experience in the martial arts transpires in one's country of origin alone.

There are those whose journey also takes them through several styles and schools and a variety of the martial arts. Then there are those who blend these experiences into a coherent whole and those who add facets of other martial arts to complement their core styles. And then there are those who adhere to one style alone to explore its many nuances. And still there are others who sparse their own martial art to to a few basic notions and evolve from there.

There is no pure art because by its very nature it is contaminated by all that went before, by its very practitioners, and all that is around us at any given time. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Art is an ever evolving experience, a human experience, a dialogue, a chorus of voices. It is also a silence, and a word spoken after a long silence.

All journeys speak for themselves and any true art is in the practitioner at a given moment in that journey. Honesty, hard work, and humbleness speak louder and truer than theory.

I practice Goju. This is neither a virtue or vice. It just is. It is the result of very particular circumstances and that is all. I also write and in writing have practiced many styles and come under many influences. It is a mongrel writing with bloodlines from all over creation and through all times of man. My style is what I am writing today.

I practice Goju. I share what I know and learn from many others. No boasts or comparisons. Only respect and acknowledgements.

The proof is in the pudding. The pudding must be cooked every day anew.


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