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NANA KOROBI YA OKI (Fall seven times, stand up eight)

Submitted by Sensei Daniel Gobillot, Shichi-Dan, Northampton, Massachusetts

Under the Direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione

This is a Japanese proverb, and without realizing it, I have embraced it my whole life. Even as a kid I lived this way. I did not know that I was, I just knew that I had to.

I was taught by my father to develop perseverance, not to give up and to never stop learning. He pushed me. He encouraged me to expand my knowledge of all things (bunbu ryodo) and to develop self confidence and hone skills. I was shown that every step matters, even the steps backward. As a young man I found this in my karate practice, it spoke to me in a language that I understood.

Hanshi Scaglione became my new father figure leading me on this path. I found that I was even stronger than I thought I was and I was shown ways to transfer these strengths to my everyday life. This included my family, my work and business and into my personal life.

I have a small permanent steel marker on page 63 in our Building Warrior Spirit book (the green book) with a paragraph in quotes. This I marked over 20 years ago:

“It’s OK to be afraid or nervous, whatever label you wish to use to describe the emotion but you could label it spirit or guts and get it to work for you. Do not allow it to drain you or drag you down. Have it pick you up and pump you up. Let it drag down your opponent. Win in spite of the excitement. It may be your greatest ally. I overheard a great football player say, 'I always get nervous at the start of a play until I hit the first guy, then the rest is easy.'”

Quotes inside of quotes is probably not good grammar but repetition through exercise like kata is great! It helps us develop positive characteristics like determination, tolerance, and humility. The release of stress through the practice of our discipline helps us build self-confidence and control. We fear no confrontation.

Domo agitato gozaimasu Hanshi,

Daniel Gobillot,

Shichi-Dan Denshi/Shihan,

Northampton Ueshiro Karate Dojo

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