There are desires and there are desires!! Some fructify as soon as they are born, some don’t fructify (in this life:-)) and some fructify late in life. Late enough that may make one say, “So late in life?” or “This late in life?” or “What do I do with this now?” or “I know delayed gratification is good but this deeeelayed?”

When one such desire of mine came to life, in my life a couple of days back, I just looked at it with awe and immense excitement. I was like this little ‘kid’ all geared up to experience it, excited and in glee!! A little ‘kid’ at the beginning of the other half of half century (Well, if you figured out my age, clap clap), joining a Ninjitsu (a Japanese form of martial art) class. The class is conducted at Invictus Performance Labs, an organisation that focuses on High Performance Physical Training.

About two years back when I met Shiva Subramanian, a 15th Dan black Belt who teaches Ninjitsu (in addition to his other role (s)), our conversation around martial arts, spirituality and the way of life was engaging and interesting. It gave a huge sprout to my desire to learn a martial art, which for various reasons known and unknown, didn’t fructify. And voilà, when the opportunity to learn Ninjitsu presented itself, I grabbed it. I tried reading up on Ninjitsu and everything was Japanese (not Latin and Greek :-))!!

That little ‘kid’ excited feeling in the morning of the class, made me overshoot the venue for the class. I couldn’t but facepalm. Drove one full circle around the area, with my heart in my mouth at the thought of being late to the class. Oof!!! but I reached in time 🙂

As the last of the 18 odd people walked into the class, suddenly the thought of “Looks like I am the oldest one here”, occured to me. Did that though bother me? Nope, I was still that little ‘kid’ :-). There were some who may have been just a few years younger than me and a few who were perhaps half my age. Aunty or Malathy – that’s the question 🙂

I had the choice of observing the session or participating in it, and me being me decided on the latter; the best decision of the day!! The next two and half hours passed like a soothing breeze. There was a vibrancy in the room and the reasons for this were, to list a few – lots of laughter amidst all that learning, a unique way of teaching this martial art form, many a gentle and hard fall, the oohs and aahs just watching others defending themselves. What stood out for me was the sense of comfort I had all thru, despite most of them being strangers to me. It was evident though that this was a group that had its focus on learning and sharing. Takes a lot to have such an environment created!!

Some of my myths fell like dominoes, during the class:

  • I just have to move this leg, that hand and my body and it is done
  • All martial art forms have to have sounds that need to be made with every movement
  • Martial art is countering aggression with aggression (blame it on the movies for this and the one above :-))

No matter our age, when we experience something close to our heart, there is that sense of déjà vu, a deep urge to learn more, a piqued curiosity and most of all a sense of wonder. Some statements that I heard in the class, struck a chord and resonated with me. Like always they raised thoughts and questions in me (which are in bold at the end of every statement).

  • There is no good or bad. There is only learning – Who am I to judge others then?
  • Nin means endurance. This is an art form that is about how you endure yourself – Living then is an art, isn’t it? Each one’s art is different in different situations and with different people. It is also different from that of the others. One’s focus then should be knowing and bettering one’s way of living, rather than focusing on knowing and bettering the living of others?
  • You are responsible for everything that happens and that’s what builds the connectivity to the universe – This one raised one too many questions in me and I am still filtering them 🙂
  • Trust your intuition and you move with nature – Trusting one’s intuition is so tough as logic raises its head just then. And conditioning happens. The rest is history.
  • There is so much space around you. Use it – This was an ace – How much we box ourselves in life and in the process feel trapped!!

Ahhhh!! So much food for thought.

When I left the class, I wondered if my training in Yoga for a couple of years and then Pilates in the last one year, was just to make me ready to get trained in Ninjitsu!! Deeeelayed gratification has its reasons, perhaps 🙂