Ganbaru, of being persistent by Francis Takahashi

The Japanese word “ganbaru” is a verb meaning to “hold out”, to “stand firm”, and to “persist in” an activity or endeavor of meaning. The image is one of “holding fast to the end”, of a special kind of tenacity or stubbornness that brooks no interference or obstruction to a perceived goal.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” These words attributed to an American president, Calvin Coolidge, appear quite pertinent today.

To seriously undertake the in depth study of a martial art, is to require a commitment that is both resolute and consistent, one that will sustain the seeker for the duration of a lifetime. No half hearted attempts to “check it out”, or to “see what happens”, are the attitudes welcome here.

Such a search also requires full knowledge of what is required to begin such a journey, both of the subject matter itself, and of the person’s individual talents, characteristics, and realistic chances to complete such an undertaking. The actual search itself will surely test the resolve of the seeker, and will provide ample answers to key questions along the way.

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