Keep Going

I’m just back from a 2 week visit to Japan, where 6 days of that were spent training. Long-time readers will know that I’ve been a student of the Bujinkan for the last 8-10 years (I’ve lost count), although while training with the best in Japan I felt like I’d only just started.

After one such difficult and discouraging training session, I asked a new friend for advice on the train home, who confided that he had also felt the same way. Now, this was someone who had trained for near 20 years and was pretty highly ranked (and I had the bruises from training with him to prove it) so I was more than a little surprised.

“That’s the beauty of this art,” he shared. “There’s no end to how much you can still learn. But that’s also why people stop training – they can’t take that feeling of becoming a beginner again and again.”

I know that feeling well. In these last 8-10 years of training, there were days which went well, and days that seemed like I couldn’t do anything right. It’s the ability to keep going in your training despite the sucking that probably characterizes the Bujinkan’s most oft repeated mantra: ‘keep going‘. I suppose that’s why the Japanese (and Chinese) character for nin, or ‘perseverance’, has the heart under the knife; no matter how many wounds you take to the heart, just keep persevering.

After one of our classes, a Japanese senior instructor probably saw the same discouraged look on a lot of us students, and he said that it was okay if we didn’t get everything he had taught that day.

“The most important point is to keep going.”

Training in the Bujinkan, Japan
Good training!

9 Responses to “Fast and Effective Ways for Coping with Stress”

  1. Julie Melillo
    November 9 2008 at 5:50 am #

    I really enjoyed this post. It’s easy to forget how powerful our physical reactions are! I like your approach here. Especially reminding the reader that we are not always ready for change — though we think we are! I agree that the real failure is letting fear stop us. Thanks for posting this!

  2. karen parsons
    November 9 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for your kind words. I am glad it was helpful! “Coping with Stress” is a part of a series of articles on Stress that I have written, hopefully Life Coaches Blog will be posting the rest. So keep in touch!

    Kindest regards,


  3. Jill R.
    November 10 2008 at 6:55 am #

    This is a great article. I especially like the list of symptoms… some of which a lot of people may not recognize as a sign of stress.

    It’s also important to continue with your stress managment activities even when there are no signs or symptoms of stress. Doing this will help you become stressed less often and ward off stress before it even begins.

  4. karen parsons
    November 10 2008 at 5:48 pm #

    Hi Jill,

    Absolutely, it should be a way of life! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Kindest regards,


  5. yvonne
    July 1 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Great site!!!!! Good health is very important with the high cost of medical coverage. We need to have a healther lifestyle by taking care of our health eating and exercising. I am a cancer survivor and I know. Our health is our greatest asset. Keep up the Good Work!!!!!

  6. Rev. Dr. Bush
    January 16 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    The physical body does not differentiate between happy stress and overwhelm. Stress is stress. We need to develop coping mechanisms in our daily life to avoid the harmful, physiological effects of stress.


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