Here it is:
“Krista, I have read several of your blogs and cannot believe that you have the audacity to analyze and comment on your superiors as if they are your "friends". They are your teachers and mentors. You are there to learn from them; not pal around with them and write like you interviewed them for a 2 hour documentary that was broadcast on prime time tv. You write in your blogs like you are the only woman to have ever performed karate/martial arts or accomplish the things that are so ordinary. Granted, the things that you've done are good, but nothing that has been done before or that will be done after you. In the world of martial arts and karate, there is a such a thing as humility and trying to improve oneself. Write to loved ones about about your experiences, but "Memoirs of a Grasshopper" blogs is an insult to the true idea and meaning of the karate/martial arts mindset.” Anonymous.Firstly, I have to agree there is nothing special about what I’m doing. I’ve been here less than a year, am barely a nidan, and obviously very junior in the honbu dojo. I am certainly not the first female to be doing this either. In fact, the current apartment I’m living in used to be occupied by a young woman who was a very strong and senior member of the Honbu dojo and one who’s far more accomplished than myself. When I leave, I have no doubt there will be many more after me too.
Memoirs of a Grasshopper has, for me, been first and foremost a personal journal and way of reflecting on my own experiences. The things I’m doing are certainly not out of the ordinary. However, I believe that each person has something unique to offer from his or her own perspective. Writing has opened my eyes to martial arts in way I never knew and has really enriched my time here studying Goju-Ryu.
While my situation isn’t special, I do believe it’s a lucky one – and one that many people don’t get the opportunity to experience. I’ve loved being able to share this with others while also learning from those more experienced than myself. I currently follow a number of martial arts blogs and believe this sharing is part of the wonder if the Internet. Perhaps the commenter assumes that by publishing online, the material is prefaced by some ‘claim of importance’ or ‘specialness’. People can blog about anything (and do!) – it’s part of what makes it so great.
Perhaps my greatest concern with the above comment is the suggestion that in making my posts public I have been in some way disrespectful of my superiors. I have nothing but absolute reverence and admiration for my seniors both in the honbu dojo, and within wider Goju Ryu and martial arts circles. Maybe it’s wrong of me to feel this way, but since moving to Naha I’ve come to consider many members of the Honbu dojo close friends. We often joke around outside of training and I feel lucky to know such amazing people who inspire me to always do my best.
Higaonna Sensei and others have encouraged me to write but I’ve always asked approval before using their names, comments, illustrations etc. That said, if the frank and open way I have described them or our trainings has given offence, I sincerely apologise. The very last thing I ever wanted was to trivialise how important these people are to me and how much I value their teachings.
So I’d now like to hear other people’s take on this. If any of my posts have been disrespectful or if indeed my entire blog is an insult to the ideals of traditional karate – something I do feel passionately about – I will happily remove all offending material, even the entire site. I would miss the opportunity Memoirs has given me to share my thoughts and connect with others, but I write first and foremost for myself, and can continue to do so offline...