translated from the French version into English by Bert sensei ESTONIA
DEBOT Valmy sensei
Head of TAKEDABUDO outside of Japan.
Dear friends of TAKEDABUDO,
Looking back to this year 2020 would be to re-insert the tanto into a gaping wound. I will not do it, out of respect for what some have experienced and still are going through today.
This year was to be a year full of exchanges and achievements. However, we couldn't take into account the events which disrupted an entire organization and even a whole world!
It is no longer enough to be vigilant - we must fight. We must respect the rules and enforce them. It's a fight where you have to be patient.
During Soke Hisashi's lifetime, after having practised BUDO for several weeks, we all sat together, and he philosophized on themes that many talk about, but few apply.
I had brought him a present. This caught him off guard, as he hadn't planned anything himself. He got up and disappeared for a short time in his living room, and he returned with poems boasting human values we should each individually cultivate and apply. All of us received their own. Unique, and with instructions on how to work them.
Mine spoke of patience. "DEBOT sensei, without patience, you can't get to the other side of the river." Others learned of values such as respect, compassion, tolerance, humility, courtesy. The latter, first of all, opens all doors to us, after which we must apply human morals.
At the start of this new season, I want to convey to you that training also means learning to apply these values. It is learning to look at your own behaviour and to meditate on it. Time on the tatami in itself is not enough. You also have to live with what surrounds you in the present and learn to master this reality, especially if it poses some danger.
It is challenging to remain motivated in your practice if TAKEDABUDO is limited to BUDO. Takeda is, of course, a Budo school, but it is also a family. A family in which we communicate, where we receive and give news, where we react to messages and emails. It is a community where we keep in touch with our sensei and with other practitioners, using all the magnificent means of communication we have at our disposal today. Use these means and communicate, respecting your masters and your sensei.
Soke Hisashi would have wished it so.
For my part, I look forward to the preparations for grades and promotions, as this is the time when I see the practitioners, and they give me their news.
Our new Soke SHUJI sensei also sends us some words and reminds us of the same in a message that you can read here https://www.takedabudo.com/news/here-is-soke-s-message-for-the-members-of-takeda-ryu-nakamura-ha-in-europe-and-africa/
Be responsible, be careful; make sure to apply all global and local recommendations in all your clubs. On a human level, we all are accountable for each other. In our practice, tori is responsible for uke; sempai shows the kohai. Let's apply these principles in our clubs.
Practice is good for the mind and good for the body. So practice. Practice at your own pace, but practice.
I give you all my confidence to teach, develop and promote this fabulous martial art that the NAKAMURA school teaches us.
Please do keep an eye on the website www.takedabudo.com, where we will announce all schedules and worldwide events.
Please send me any information, any need, or ideas to improve our practice.
My very best regards,
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Mr Valmy DEBOT
+32 476 78 83 16