#10 “A Butterfly’s Heart”
Posted on 2014/04/04
I know that basically this column is all about Jiu-jutsu but this one time I would like you to let me write a little. For my old students and those that follow me on Facebook it probably isn’t knew news, so please stop reading here. But since, even now, there are students that haven’t seen my Facebook page or my Blog so I decided to share it here. So because of that and for my foreign students I want to explain clearly.
Last month, I published a book called “A Butterfly’s Heart”. It doesn’t have anything at all to do with Jiu-jitsu. It is actually a photo-essay about my daughter, Mayu, who recently turned 5. When she was born she had a severe heart defect. There were times when she was in a critical condition but after 3 surgeries now her condition has settled. But unfortunately her condition is one that cannot be fixed by surgery so it is something that she may have for her entire life. So we are always praying that there are no complications while we try to live our life walking on eggshells.
While I wrote the book I was thinking about my Mayu and about illness. It is written in a light style but late at night while I was writing I was in tears. Putting down your heart on paper is quite a difficult task. But having written it now I am glad that I did so.
While being working as a Jiu-jitsu instructor, I feel a little guilty, when I think of my students, about writing and taking photos. I feel that my students imagine me to be a guy that is like “100% JIU-JITSU” or “No JIU-JITSU No Life!” But that’s not me. I was never like that way even before Mayu was born. I don’t have many friends in Martial Arts and there are few people that I get along with. Before Mayu was born, Jiu-jitsu was the most important thing to me but I didn’t think of it as my whole life.
Yes, I am a Jiu-jitsu guy but I’m also a father. I see that as the part of my life with the most value. Over the last 5 years the struggle between being a father and Jiu-jitsu has made it quite a tough 5 years. With each difficulty I have become bolder and I feel I’ve grown mentally. I have Mayu to thank for this. If there are students that think I am a good teacher, then this too is all thanks to her. Before she was born I was kind of callow I think.
In the future I don’t think I can be only about “Jiu-jitsu”. I plan to actively pursue my photography and volunteer work. And so, finally, I would like to let you all know that “A Butterfly’s Heart” is on sale at bookstores all over the country. Thank you very much. I am donating all of the royalties from the book to Ronald MacDonald House Charities Japan, where I volunteer. It is quite hard to promote something that is my own work but as I won’t make a single yen from the proceeds I will plug away at it.
For those students that don’t read Japanese, I am sorry. I will try to get to an English Edition sometime in the future.