Any Time Any Where

If you are a practitioner you can practice wherever you are, whenever you want to. It takes a while to learn how to do that. Because not every environment is as good for training as a dojo. But you can always do something to condition the body and mind. If you understand this and use it you are always on the path to mastery.

The picture is of a makiwara. It is a flexible wooden post used by karate practitioners to condition the hands for striking. It is simple. Usually in Okinawa it was set up outside the house, planted deep into the ground.

Training on the makiwara can make your hands strong enough to break bricks. Breaking bricks was not a trick. It was a way to demonstrate to yourself and others the power you have developed through training.

Even without special equipment or a special environment we can always train something. Posture. Breathing. Attention. We can do kata – movement sequences – on our own or with others, anywhere where we will not attract too much attention.

Any surface is good. It is good to try all kinds of environments and see how you need to adapt under unfamiliar conditions. Like on the beach or on gravel, a roof top or basement, on asphalt or on grass or roots or mud, in a forest or on rocky, uneven ground.

You can train your mind anywhere. Focus and mindfulness are kinds of mind training.  We can also practice avoiding negative mental states – if we experience negativity, anger, resentment or arrogance – notice it, recognize it as a state of mind that is harmful to you and others, an impediment to practice and to life – and replace that state with a wholesome one.

This way we make our body strong and skillful, and our mind calm and aware.

Under pressure it may be too late to prepare. But now is a good time.

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