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Thoughts and comments by Sensei Jorge Kishkawa

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    Cutting Down the Doom

    We are only humans, and we all know this, or at least in the unconscious, we realize we are just humans. We are weak.
    Going away from our entire family, our parents, siblings, and friends to stay away for years require courage. Especially when you´re alone.
    Loneliness, doubts, anxiety and fear only happen when we go far away from "our place".
    It is in these moments that a compass, a helping hand is essential. And when I say about "helping hand," I mean of the one who helps you but also charges you.
    Being direct: if you have Niten, you will not be alone, you will not get lost.
    Lucky for the one who has Niten around...



    Born in Fortaleza*, about seven years ago, I decided to move to Sao Paulo in search of professional specialization and to complement my academic training. At that time, I had never spent more than a month away from my hometown and my family, but I felt the time was right. I remember that feeling of fear mixed with some hope of facing a whole new world; the anxiety and the expectation of the people who loved me to make it work and the things I had to give up so I could continue with this dream.
    *Fortaleza is a northeastern city in Brazil, capital of Ceara state located 1472 miles north from Sao Paulo.

    Very methodical, strict and inflexible to myself (and often to others as well), this behavior gave me a (false) self-confidence that I was prepared for whatever appeared in front of me. But seven years away from what was my comfort zone had more to teach me than I imagined...

    At one point, I saw myself completely lost in the face of a problem that I thought I could not overcome. The stiffness with which I dealt with events was leading me along through a very dark road. I could no longer distinguish what the personal side of the professional was, and it started to affect my life for the worse. I woke up without any will. That dream that had begun seven years ago was becoming a nightmare that I could not get rid of, and I was alone. That´s when, fortunately, I just silenced and breathed...

    About seven months ago, through advertisements and videos, I became acquainted about something named the Niten Cultural Institute. Due to a personal search, I became aware of the samurai culture and the Bushido code and wondered how it was able to make the men of that time so brave and willing to lay down their lives for what they thought fair, without hesitation. At first, I only admired by far. Until I created the courage and participated in a Workshop at the Brooklin Unit in Sao Paulo with Senpai Weber and things started to happen...

    After this Workshop, I attended an experimental class at the Sumaré Unit (my current dojo of origin) with Senpai Marques and Poli. I still remember coming all embarrassed and wondering about all that, but at the same time already with a deep admiration for what was happening there. All the Senpais were very attentive and careful with my presence there. Senpai Toshi was very polite, helpful and excited about my appearance (even though she had never seen me before). In this first Kenjutsu class, I have tried the katas, I suffered a lot with the seiza position (even after some training time), I dressed the bogu, I trained with one, two swords, I erred, I hit, I fought, I lost, and I won ... And then I wear the kimono and keep training.

    I recently returned to Fortaleza for a short vacation of ten days. This time I did my first Iaijutsu class. Being received in my hometown now by Senpai Izakiel and Edson, the feeling was already different. Even much more experienced than I, it seemed that we were brothers in the same track and that we were there to continue improving together. The Senpai´s care in guiding the correct technique, in "pulling" with the right intensity and even in sending a "beat with less force otherwise you are going to pay a punishment!" (lol) only made more evident the importance that they gave to continue with our personal improvement and not run away from the confrontation, however difficult the situation is.

    “Ribeiro, go back to Sao Paulo and train with Sensei and then come back here and show us what you´ve learned!” Senpai Izakiel told me late in the morning. Hai!

    Today I return to Sao Paulo knowing that my family has become much more significant and with that also my commitment to it. And with the feeling that every time I walk into a dojo (whatever the place), I´ll feel closer to my hometown and source.

    I met many people and things during this period in Sao Paulo, and most of them I no longer have contact anymore. Despite the frequent changes along this journey, I have made sure that what really makes the difference stays or returns to us at some point in that journey. Even if it´s only for a period...

    Domo arigato gozaimashita Sensei Jorge Kishikawa
    Domo arigato gozaimashita Niten Cultural Institute"

    Ribeiro, Sumaré Unit

    Ribeiro, pediatric surgeon

    With the group from Sumaré Dojo.

    With the Niten´s family at the last gashuku of the year


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