This year is an auspicious year for me hosting Taikai. I started my Bujinkan training journey in the year 2002. If my math is correct, 2022 marks my 20th year training in the Bujinkan. I first co hosted Midwest Taikai in Fort Wayne Indiana 2012 and in exactly 10 years later, here I am again. All this being said, I believe the graphic on the right signifies my journey and many of your journeys has come full circle. If you also study this circle the dragon is traveling, the dragon must fight gravity and the climb to reach the top of the circle. Cresting the top of the circle, the dragon then can enjoy the ride on the downswing. This is life, ne?
Do not forget the beginning spirit. The theme for this year signifies coming out of the difficult last couple years we have experienced. Some of us may have took this time to reevaluate our lives. Some may have accomplished all the goals they set. Some may have not done anything. Some have trained this whole time. Some have taken a break. That's okay. If you are reading this, we all have survived this. Isn't that the essence of Budo? Banpen Fugyō.
We have all started training in Bujinkan for different reasons. But at one point, we found a passion and devotion that seized or captured us. Please take this Taikai to not forget the beginning spirit that captured us at the start of our journey. Until we will be able to travel back (or travel for our first trip) to Japan at some point, gambatte kudasai!