November 14, 2016
So, as you’ve seen from our Special Soba video, we traveled out to Fukushima and had a lot of fun. That was only the half. This part, though, is what we were most excited about. We went to Samurai City, and trained in a dojo, and were overwhelmed with respect and awe, and have walked away with memories really dear to us.
When we both walked into the dojo, we felt like we were part of something special. Seeing all of the women there warming up to train, in a big open dojo, with the windows open and a faint breeze passing through it, all beside the giant fortress: it felt mystical. There was magic here, and we were both completely caught off guard. I think we were a lot weirder on camera as a result.
I think the two of us handled this very differently. I was awkward and giggly and anxious. And I think that I compensate in situations like this by being more awkward and trying to get people to laugh. But the whole time I felt really emotional. I knew that this was a special opportunity, and – what’s more – I felt nervous at how quickly it was fading away. Most of the time I was there I was in the moment, but also thinking “holy shit this is going to end soon so soon.”
Martina was a lot more reserved. This means a lot more to her than she showed in the video. I wanted her to do a voiceover in this video to try to explain it to you, but she’s not comfortable talking about it there, so I’ll talk about it here: Martial arts were a big part of her life growing up. Her whole family went to Karate. Her father is a black belt in a few degrees (second degree? Third? I’m not sure). Martina did it for a long time before she just couldn’t do it anymore, because she kept getting injured. This was before she knew she had EDS. She hasn’t done any martial arts since. And so, for her to be here now, after so many years of being away from it, actually practicing in Japan, in Samurai freaking City, is something that’s not only special to her, but something that’s going to be special for her family to see.
Martina was also in pain for a lot of this. Lifting above her head is really rough on her shoulders, but that didn’t stop her from going on, yet at the same time it reminded her of why she doesn’t do Karate anymore. A lot of emotions gathered at once, so she wasn’t her usual bubbly self. But I could see it in her. I know this had a lot of meaning for her. And I know she’ll remember this forever.
We also took a bunch of pictures, as always. Some are from Samurai City, but others are from the rest of our trip. Check em out here!
We didn’t make videos of everything we did when we were here. We did have a LiveChat at the Onsen, though. The rest of the Onsen was just amazing though. It was my first time sitting in an Onsen outside by a waterfall. I couldn’t really shoot any videos there, though, because I’d have to be naked, and that’s not the kind of video we’d post on YouTube. But that, too, was profound. Hell everything we did in Aizu moved us. We had a great time and hope you’ll give it a chance as well. Check out their page to learn more about it.
Otherwise, you might have noticed Sharla in this video. She was with us the whole trip! She posted some videos on her channel as well. We linked to part 1 last time.