Meet Shoki. He is a bear I made at Build-a-Bear Workshop today with the advice of Sensei. As you can see, he is dressed in a dobok, and currently wearing a white belt. The white belt is the first belt in the belt level sequence for Combat Hapkido.
This bear is significant for me because according to Sensei I will be ready to test for white belt in just a few months. My plan is to have the belt color Shoki wears match my current belt level. He will also be used as a target for my strikes and weapons work when I am working at home in my room.
Now onto his name. Shoki is the name of a Chinese deity who protects against illness and evil influence, taking particular care to watch over children. This is indeed a fitting name for my bear.
The protector from illness connection is not a hard one to make, considering I must be cautious not to over train, particularly with the Cerebral Palsy complicating things. Evil influences...well, my anxiety could be looked at that way. I also have frequent nightmares at night. And while I know that at nearly 22 years old it might be a little farfetched to call me a child, it is Sensei's opinion that the abuse my parents were able to get away with did some serious damage psychologically. Essentially I was forced to grow up before I was ready.
This is why Sensei has been treating me as a child. He has encouraged me to partake of lifes simple pleasures such as teddy bears, playing pretend, tickle fights and lots of hugs. He has given me the chance to experience what I missed out on, without criticizing or judging me. Thus his approval of me buying Shoki.