The term “repercussions” always seems to have negative connotations. But, I have two positive results from the chaos of the past weekend. And it’s keeping in the thread of basics.
The last few days have been filled with far more karate than is probably good for me. But also stock full of the reaffirmation that I might be working towards something a little different, and a little new.
Between a training on Friday in Chicago, covering for a friend on Friday, two seminars on Saturday, and a tournament on Sunday (check out the team form!), I haven’t had a whole lot of time to think, let alone write. But, that being said, there are some pretty cool things that happened.
We had the pleasure of Sensei Terry Creamer for two seminars on traditional bo and traditional tonfa on Saturday. It was a spectacular experience, and one that once again brought home the importance of basics. It seems to be one of the major things I am lacking. However, from this experience there were two interesting repercussions.
A big segment of the seminars was focused on the proper body mechanics of weapon manipulation, and how not to destroy the major joints of the body while practicing. It was something that I had never really heard before, but made complete sense as soon as it was brought up.
A few years ago I wrote a long-ish answer to the question What Does Martial Arts Mean to Me? I was getting ready to test for a 5th degree in a school that I was about to start buying into (I now own a decent chunk of it). And it was up to me to explain everything about who I was, and what I wanted to do in a few paragraphs.
As you can see, if you clicked above, I totally lied about a few paragraphs. It ended up being 7 pages. I left it unedited except for a few names. If you got all the way through, bravo, if not. That’s ok. Here’s the summary.
I like karate. A lot.
Anyway, a huge part of this piece was focused on not destroying one’s body. If martial arts, like any activity, is done in controlled doses with proper focus given to form, function, and technique, as well as the limits imposed by an individual’s physical constraints. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to do martial arts recreationally for the rest of your life.
However, when people start really pushing, really working, and doing a smidgen more than recommended. The body will begin to break down. It will do so exponentially faster if there is poor technique.
So, here I am, a few years after writing an impassioned piece which was pretty vague on the how of fixing the problem, learning how to fix the problem.
Through these seminars I found out the way I’ve been handling a bo and tonfa, could be improved or minorly tweaked. There were a lot of small questions I’d had for years that were answered and I was pretty pumped about it. Which means last night I was talking at about 200 miles an hour in kobudo class and trying to, with the help of the handful of people who were also at the seminars, remember everything we did for 4 hours and teach it to everyone else in 1 hour.
I was unsuccessful.
But I was excited.
After class, a student came in and thanked me, everyone else who works at the dojo, and the dojo in general, for being willing to bring in people and learn new things. Then for trying to share, implement, and teach them right away. This man has a black belt from another system or two, and mentioned his other instructors wouldn’t have done that.
That was the statement that made all the seminars worth it. The whole reason I wanted to bring in all of these fantastically talented people was not to show how cool they were, or to show off my school, or even to make money. It was to get my students some new perspectives, new ideas, and to learn something new.
That’s what we should all be striving for, always. New perspectives, new ideas, and learning something new.