LB, Anastasia, and Lavina after the test

LB, A, and Lavina after the test

I’ve got a new Sensei 🙂 Saturday was Anastasia’s black belt test. It was a great test and she did an amazing job. The whole weekend was excellent. Senseis Robert and Elizabeth came from North Carolina to give the test, and also taught seminars on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Saturday night, we partied at Sensei A’s (Sensei A III, that is).

Senseis Robert and Elizabeth are good people, excellent teachers, and extremely dedicated to Cuong Nhu. I was glad I got to spend some time with them. They are both early students of O’Sensei. What I remember most about the test and the seminar are the stories about O’Sensei and Cuong Nhu. Stories about the wisdom, philosophy, and kindness of O’Sensei; Stories about the past, present, and future of Cuong Nhu. Hearing the story of the tallest tree told by Anastasia helped me understand even more how everything is connected. How everything affects everything else, and how, on some level, everyone affects everyone else. The other thing I remember most is that Anastasia had to do most of fighting form for the test, even though it wasn’t a requirement and she’d never done it before. And the ukes rocked!

All of it, including watching Anastasia tackle fighting form, reminded me for the bazillionth time why I love Cuong Nhu (and martial arts in general), and of how lucky I am to learn from and train with such amazing people. It also reminded me of how much I love the “Cuong Nhu Family”, and how it’s not just words, but a real thing that happens most of the time when Cuong Nhu people get together. There is mutual kindness and respect. Martial arts is an intense thing, and that kindness and respect go a long way in making training enjoyable, safe, and for me, even possible at all.

On a more personal note… I was having a hard day. My brain wasn’t cooperating at all. Serious sensory overload problems. By the time I got to the seminar on Saturday, I could barely think, and it was very hard to hear and talk. I didn’t think I would be able to participate in the seminar, which made me very sad. I told Robert and Elizabeth that I might not be able to participate. They were very understanding and said I could come in and out of it as I needed to. I really appreciated that they were so nice about it. Luckily, I brought my emergency meds, and finally took them right before class started. I felt a lot better in a little while, even though I was groggy, and made it through the whole seminar. It was very fun 🙂

Sensei Anastasia