By Oliver Vorawit Bagersted, 18 years 2.kyu Yakami Shinsei-ryu, 1.kyu Kodosoku-kai Gensei-ryu Karate-do, January 2012
When I first saw the invitation to POMW! my first thought was, “Damn it’s a lot of money …” But I then talked to Soren Renshi and of course I had to attend the course. We talked back and forth about our expectations for the course and how it was connected to Hsingi. My expectations were high and I could not wait for the first course to start.
The course started out like any other course, with a good atmosphere, and people where happy to see each other. As always, we went around and poked to each other, everything was as it used to be.
Then the course started, and although I personally had imagined, that the course should be about guns and handling of the same, it took a slightly different twist in the beginning. As it happens often, you will be surprised at these courses, and you will often end up with some very deep questions. For me this resulted in a very large knot which was gathering in my stomach. The questions in the course were very confrontational to our ego. I talked with some of the participants after the course and they all agreed with me, that it had been a bit uncomfortable.
After a little “dark” start with some self-insight, we continued the weapons course. The next step was the weapon’s development through the centuries and how the internal clarification and attitude associated with the level of competence there is as a “warrior”. We all very quickly agreed, that the more advanced our technology over time has become, the lower the skilled level to operate a weapon becomes. The relaxed atmosphere reawakened and the course continued on weapons history, development, precision and things like that.
In conclusion on the course, we heard about Kimu Sensei’s competencies and skills with firearms. What he had managed to achieve in a relatively short time and the experience he had got. As one of the last things, he also told us all, what expectations he had for the chief instructors with the POMW project.
When we finished, I had incredible difficult by keeping track of my thoughts. I thought of all the issues that had been affected in the 3 hours and could hardly make head or tail of it all. One of the things that had really caught me was when Kimu Sensei had asked us, “why are you training martial sports?”.
It occurred to me, that for a long while I have not seen this sport, as a way to learn self-defense. I have seen it much more, as an opportunity for personal development. That was my answer, which came out as pure reflex, “to develop myself as a person, to get a few tools for use in everyday life …”
I’ve been thinking a lot about exactly that question. Even with all our weapons, techniques and yelling across the floor, I do not see this as the most essential in this sport. For me, the most important and interesting, are the tools that Shindenkan can offer for you to evolve as a person and you can use in everyday life.
I didn’t ever imagined that during a lecture I would end up with a knot in my stomach 2/3 of the time. However, this was the case in the POMW! Course, and even though it was challenging my personal limits, I am extremely pleased to have been a part of it. But I am still a bit amazed about how much we got to talk about our ego. Both in terms of how far you would go to save your own life or just how much to nurse your ego with a military degree. Somehow it was scary, but at the same time an experience I would not have been without. I cannot wait to come back for the second and third courses module