Posts in General
Saying No to New York

Spending time in a metropolis like New York when you don't know where to find anything, don't know any of the people, the weather is gloomy, immediately getting lost when exploring confusing city streets, is like living in limbo - every day is essentially the same and you can't change it. You just while away the hours. So in order to not go nuts or fall any further into a depression, I started just walking out of the hostel and going straight into Central Park. This was an area I understood.

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How to Gain Perspective

The best way to gain perspective is by creating space between you and the problem. Even if you don't know what the problem is, or even if there is one, by physically removing yourself from your typical environment you will come to recognise; what is important to you, what is tying you down, and you will start to discover just who you are. Travel is, above all, the quickest and most effective way to create space, and gain perspective.

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"Yes" will take you a long way.

In 2006, the book "Yes Man" sparked a change in my life. I know, it sounds absolutely corny, but it totally did. Wallace, the author and protagonist, was a fairly similar to me - pessimistic, a little too clever, used sarcasm and sharp wit to try and cover up areas where actually we felt vulnerable. But he commits to an experiment where he simply starts saying yes to things. The change was spectacular. I needed something spectacular in my life.

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Waitahanui River, Taupo

Looking at the test-print in my hands I'm aware of the way that even this moment that I've captured here is going to fade away. The digital scan of it does not do it justice, and this copy is yellowed and marked with age. Until I find the negatives, I'll have to be content with these poor reproductions, each one of which introduces more entropy into the equation.

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Blood Pool - Beppu's Entrance to Hell

This pool is just one of many in this area, and on top of that, there are different facilities that have their own pools and style of displaying them. What I liked the most, though, was that you could just fill your water bottles with the spring water! (No, it wasn't rusty red like this) It tasted wonderful, good to drink but I wouldn't use it to make tea!

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Hot Lunch - Have a Steamy Time in Beppu

I've always enjoyed geothermal attractions, and these don't disappoint. They're not overly flashy or upmarket, nor are they undeveloped. They're fairly simple and make good use of the beauty of nature that surrounds this area. In fact, Beppu was one of the greenest cities we visited in Japan, with many houses sporting trees and gardens and just a general lush feel to the whole area.

 
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Why EmptyJacket?

A judoka once commented that competing with Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, was like "fighting against an empty jacket" - his substance was tangible, but pinning him down was an impossible task.

My hope with this blog is to provide substance and value, but I too do not wish to be pinned down. It's not just an education blog, nor just a philosophy blog, neither a simple martial arts blog. But at the same time, it is all of these things and likely more.

Let me know how I can be of service, ask me difficult questions, I'll give you difficult answers that we can work on together. Lastly, if you find value here, please share it with others.

~William

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