My Uncle died..

My phone started buzzing at around 12:50am. Shawn looked at it and I saw that it kept ringing and my dad’s Snorlax caller ID photo appeared. It took me a second to realize that old saying, “If there’s a phone call late in the night, then it’s never about a good thing…” so I picked it up.

“Katie, Moto just departed a few minutes ago…”


“He just departed. Ok?”



“Ok, bye.”

I wasn’t shocked, I knew it would come eventually. Tbh, I felt as though I “lost” my uncle a few years ago when he had that kidney failure leading to some brain damage due to low oxygen levels in his brain. He just never was the same again, where he would be interacting like a normal person and would be telling dirty jokes and cursing all the time.

But, when I heard that, I went back to bed and couldn’t go immediately back to sleep. I didn’t start crying nor did I feel a heavy amount of sadness–instead, my mind just went through playing a rush of all my memories with him like a projector. It’s then that I got a little sad and wanted to release a tear, but didn’t.

Then the timing today was absolutely GREAT. I had to teach 5th Grade Boys Health and we had to talk about ‘Death’ during our Stages of Life Lesson. Lovely. The kids had some strong reactions about it and didn’t want to talk about it, so I just told them that I had a hard time teaching them today because my uncle died. I should’ve said that, ‘It’s difficult, but it’s just part of the process of life’ but I guess what I emphasized instead was just that others feel the same way and you’re not alone.

Can’t have a funeral either because of the coronavirus.

Ip Man 4

Well, I just saw “Ip Man 4” starring Donnie Yen, and honestly, it was a fantastic movie–I really liked it.

The acting in the American scenes were over-dramatic, but the Chinese scenes were more realistic with subtle human emotion. I liked this movie better than the third one.

So yes, as you would all expect, the scene where the hapa girl gets unfairly bullied by that white teenage girl was definitely something I could relate to—being a minority made you a target of that, and you unfortunately were always in situations where you were an army of 1 versus an army of many. Then what made those times worse, was that the teachers back then were so passive and uninvolved with bullying, and they usually sided with the group of (white) mean girls because there were “more witnesses,” and I definitely felt as though there was always a subconscious racial bias. Unfortunately, being a school-teacher myself now, although there is definitely more awareness for bullying compared to the past, a lot of this non-objective behavior from ineffective authority figures still remain today…it irritates me and even today, I still try to find my way to fight back people like them. Honestly, I was really waiting for that hapa girl to fucken kick that girl’s ass!!! Ugh, Ip Man 4!! YOU ROBBED ME OF THE ULTIMATE REVENGE!!

Anyway, but in all seriousness, the scene that really caught my attention was the “Lazy Susan” scene where all the kung fu masters in the San Francisco area were meeting for tea at one of the sifu’s house. The scene was portrayed many times in other movies (I think “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” had this same scene), but in those other movies I just thought that it was boring and it didn’t get into much detail about the debate on whether or not to teach martial arts to non-Chinese. Ip Man 4, however, went more into it.

They touched on identity and issues of Chinese-Americans immigrating outside their motherland and how Asians who were born and raised in Asia are not empathetic of the struggles, since they are still the “power race” in their homeland. I was impressed with how they eloquently presented the issues from both perspectives.  But the debate that really struck me was the debate on teaching traditional martial arts to “外人.”

My mother always told me about how she hates budo because it’s, “fascist” and has, “the conservative of conservative” people leading it, and that it’s very ‘right wing-like.’ In some ways, I can see where she’s coming from (there’s a long history of that in martial arts anyway), and the other Chinese sifus in the movie had that ‘right wing’ mentality with keeping Chinese martial arts, “with Chinese and ONLY Chinese,” with only Ip Man being the “leftist” and trying to present a more progressive perspective of Bruce Lee’s intentions of spreading the art as a whole. Nevertheless, all the arguments from both sides made sense and it was interesting to hear it

…but what was eerie about it was that I actually..knew what they were talking about…

And that’s when I realized,

That this endless debate about opening classical traditional arts to outsides, still exists today.

…and this film was supposed to take place in the 60’s…

…and this debate still exists today.

…that’s very SAD.

It’s been practically over a half a decade, yet there are still a disproportionate amount of “martial rightists” compared to “leftists.”

And honestly, I do admit that things are a little better now and budo has spread out more than before, but those rightist masters honestly weren’t wrong with some of their arguments.

I guess in some ways, traditional martial arts still keeps this “tradition” alive of debating whether or not it should spread to others 😂 Oh dear, I think unfortunately, there still is no conclusive right answer…


So…although I have had more time to be ‘productive,’ I started to sleep in more, feel better, but basically ended up doing less. I think I need to make my wakeup time 8:00am on a regular basis just to be more productive during the day—it truly was a nice feeling.

This quarantine time makes you so…lazy and idle. We could all be doing much more with our time, but instead you just end up watching Youtube or passively browsing Instagram feeds all day…jesus, so much time wasted.

Like, I cannot believe half of my Spring Break is already over! OMG. Jesus.

I didn’t touch my koto nor my calligraphy brush at all this month. I also cannot believe how much time has passed since I’ve last been at the dojo…it’s weird. I’m a bit terrified to see how out of breath I’ll be when I get back to the dojo.

However, I did begin to turn the wheels for a few back burner projects. I have also been making coffee at home everyday and love seeing the lack of coffee charges on my credit card statement—it feels empowering to really be able to actually track your spending,  seeing how much money you can save, and really feeling as though you have total control over your finances. It is nice to have that extra cash to be able to spend it on more fun stuff. As someone under student loan debt in a low-paying industry, it really feels great to finally feel financial empowerment like this.

Although I do admit, grocery bills have been going up 😅 but, it still is affordable.

The other day I taught my first virtual online naginata class via. Zoom—it was great to see Charlotte actually pull this idea together and see how she ran things during her session. I was honestly thinking about doing this with my dojo, but just couldn’t get together an intense enough curriculum and also maybe thinking that maybe everyone needs ‘a break’ so that they are even more motivated to come back once this quarantine gets lifted.

Although the physical training of naginata is limited to someone living in an urban environment, the mental side of naginata training is still available and should be done during this time. Arguably, it’s harder and requires more discipline to get the mental side down during this coronavirus crisis. Maybe actually scheduling it in works?…