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Kishi

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So, looks like the gent I was going off to train bailed on me, and I have nothing getting in my way. I could go to karate tonight if I wanted to.

 

Not gonna, though. Until things are clear between K-sensei and me, I don't owe him anymore of my time.

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4 hours ago, Kishi said:

So, looks like the gent I was going off to train bailed on me, and I have nothing getting in my way. I could go to karate tonight if I wanted to.

 

Not gonna, though. Until things are clear between K-sensei and me, I don't owe him anymore of my time.

Good for you.

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Well. It's done.

 

I didn't go last night, as I said. K-sensei finally got the message this morning and I got a wall o' text which would be a lot to transcribe here. Boiled down, he said he didn't misunderstand anything and that I'd set the limit on myself in terms of whether I'd ever be "good enough" or not. He said he'd hoped I'd make a mad sprint (read: go all in) on karate to get to where he could rank me, but there was no way that could happen if I wasn't going to show up more than 50% of the time, and as he wasn't being paid that it wasn't worth his time to train me if I couldn't even clear such a low bar as that, and also that my reasons for spending time away just weren't good enough but that he'd "spare me a critique."

 

Nice.

 

So I explained to him that it wasn't like that at all, that it was two hours two nights a week with him plus all the extra time I was spending on other arts and S&C afterward and that all of this had been done with the idea of making my karate better. Because it's all connected, man. I explained to him that I couldn't expect him to understand that because of his perspective, because all he saw was someone spending time away, and what I see in myself is an obsessive who has a mild panic attack when I miss mat time. But that there were still times when I'd have to take off. I told him off for failing to understand me and rushing to heap his guilt on me, and for this not even being the first time he'd done it. Then I told him that if I wasn't worth his time now, I couldn't see myself getting there, thanked him for being such a positive force in my life, told him I'd always have something to learn from him... and that I quit.

 

It's funny. I thought it'd hurt a lot more. I dunno, maybe it will in time. Right now, though, I just feel... tired.

 

And, oddly, relieved. I kind of felt guilty looking for other options while hoping that things could be fixed, but now that I know it's broken, I don't feel so bad.

 

I'm a little apprehensive about how I develop going forward. My ideal would be the kyokushin place I linked earlier; they have a fight class on Tuesday and tech class on Thursday and I think that would be fantastic, but it's occurred to me that they might not let me in without doing the other classes that happen on days when I can't go. However, further research indicates a muay thai school nearby that runs on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Could do that, I think.

 

Either way, I'm gonna start putting out feelers tonight and see what pops up.

 

Anyway.

 

Last night, I went to the gym, did S&S, skipped rope, and then did BJJ shadowboxing, which is basically bridging and shrimping. Hit the heavy bag for a while too and got out early, but then got lost catching up on publicist work when I got home and didn't get to bed 'til late. Felt like the right thing to do, though; I'd been slacking on that and after having been stood up my conscience got to bothering me and I decided I needed to comport myself like someone who had the right to be offended.

 

Tonight's a rest night. Scifi and possibly strong beer. We'll see how that works out.

 

Tomorrow? Well, I dunno. It's going to come down to what kind of communication I get from these places.

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39 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Then I told him that if I wasn't worth his time now, I couldn't see myself getting there, thanked him for being such a positive force in my life, told him I'd always have something to learn from him... and that I quit.

 

It's funny. I thought it'd hurt a lot more. I dunno, maybe it will in time. Right now, though, I just feel... tired.

 

Do you think he might have made it easier for you to bite the bullet by being a giant butt? (There are crazy-possessive ex comparisons rolling around in my head because the resemblance is strong with this one....) You're completely right, if 10 years of loyalty isn't good enough in his mind then nothing is going to be good enough. (...see?)

 

Maybe the kyokushin dojo will talk to you, but it's a good thing tonight is a rest night. It never hurts to have a rest night when you feel emotionally drained. 

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19 minutes ago, Urgan said:

Do you think he might have made it easier for you to bite the bullet by being a giant butt? (There are crazy-possessive ex comparisons rolling around in my head because the resemblance is strong with this one....) You're completely right, if 10 years of loyalty isn't good enough in his mind then nothing is going to be good enough. (...see?)

 

Yeah, being a giant butt did help. I should have known better than to expect/hope for something different. Any time I've argued with him in the past he's accused me of not knowing enough and not having the right to argue my points. It's been that way for everything from karate to literature.

 

It's like I told him, though. I don't see this as the end of my learning. I'm reading challenging books again thanks to him and I want to study and learn more and be better, and I'm truly grateful to him for that. But I can't give him what he wants and if that makes me a waste of his time, then. That's really on him.

 

I do see. I hate it, but I do see.

 

31 minutes ago, Urgan said:

Maybe the kyokushin dojo will talk to you, but it's a good thing tonight is a rest night. It never hurts to have a rest night when you feel emotionally drained.

 

I do hope so. They had this generic form to fill out but it doesn't seem to lead to the stuff I want. I hope I can find my way there.

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12 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Yeah, being a giant butt did help. I should have known better than to expect/hope for something different. Any time I've argued with him in the past he's accused me of not knowing enough and not having the right to argue my points. It's been that way for everything from karate to literature.

 

It's like I told him, though. I don't see this as the end of my learning. I'm reading challenging books again thanks to him and I want to study and learn more and be better, and I'm truly grateful to him for that. But I can't give him what he wants and if that makes me a waste of his time, then. That's really on him.

 

That's a rarefied perch he sits on, ain't it?

Anything other than allocating your resources precisely as he would have you do is just you being a moron.

Right okay, spent the last 10 years' worth of free time with you, sooooo. Yeah.

 

...

 

Whoops.

He's got ya there, Kishi, face facts. 

 

20 minutes ago, Kishi said:

I do hope so. They had this generic form to fill out but it doesn't seem to lead to the stuff I want. I hope I can find my way there.

 

The plot thickens. If they're worth being a part of, they'll get back to you quickly one way or another.

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7 minutes ago, Urgan said:

That's a rarefied perch he sits on, ain't it?

Anything other than allocating your resources precisely as he would have you do is just you being a moron.

Right okay, spent the last 10 years' worth of free time with you, sooooo. Yeah.

 

...

 

Whoops.

He's got ya there, Kishi, face facts. 

 

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4 hours ago, Kishi said:

It's like I told him, though. I don't see this as the end of my learning. I'm reading challenging books again thanks to him and I want to study and learn more and be better, and I'm truly grateful to him for that. But I can't give him what he wants and if that makes me a waste of his time, then. That's really on him.

 

I do see. I hate it, but I do see.

It takes time to heal after an abusive relationship, and you need that time. I don't think the full extent of the toxicity will be revealed to you until after you have stopped martial arts with him completely and start working with a healthy teacher.

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14 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

It takes time to heal after an abusive relationship, and you need that time. I don't think the full extent of the toxicity will be revealed to you until after you have stopped martial arts with him completely and start working with a healthy teacher.

 

Yeah. You're not wrong. I was going to bed last night when it hit me that I wasn't going to the garage today and I felt a kind of emptiness that just kind of caused me to stare for a bit. Was able to meditate past it, but.

 

*

 

Wednesday happened. K-sensei couldn't even be bothered to read my wall of text and just asked if we were going to say good luck to each other. I said so, meant it, and that's the end of it.

 

Still, I got a lot of support from a lot of people.

 

I told my friends in the publicist company what happened and there were immediate offers to hang out and eat cake. I declined, but only because I had scifi people to go hang out with who turned out to be just as accommodating and emotionally supportive.

 

I texted my brother and I said, "So, good news! You are definitely going to make black belt before I do." And he asked how so and I told him that I'd quit being K-sensei's student. And he surprised me: he asked if I wanted to talk about it, and when I said I was hopeful about the future black belt or no, he said that they'd love to see me back at the kung fu school.

 

And boy, did I think long about that one. I ultimately came out against it - I don't mind being a white belt again, and I don't mind being subordinate to my brother, but I've seen what their sparring looks like and I lack conviction in their techniques. They're focused on speed rather than power, and my understanding of speed is to view it as a side effect of an efficient transition from one powerful completed technique to the next.

 

Still. I'm thinking about it. I'm wondering if I could put myself at my brother's service regardless, if there's some way for me to get on the mats with him and allow him to test his stuff in good faith. I dunno, but. It's something to think about.

 

I got in touch with the kyokushin place. The sensei there was a little leery at the idea of a beginner coming out to a kata/technique class, but I asserted myself and said that I'd been studying Shotokan for 10 years, and I wasn't a stranger to this kind of work. That cleared it up. So I'm scheduled to meet him tonight at 18:00, although I'm wondering now if I should bring my gi and if he's expecting me to get out on the mats with them. Damn. Didn't think that far ahead. Of course, though, it is payday today, and if they sell gi there then I don't mind another one. First rule of karate - never say no to new gi. :D

 

So, yeah. Feeling good today. Hopeful. If I can make a good connection with this teacher, that'll be my way forward.

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45 minutes ago, Kishi said:

I texted my brother and I said, "So, good news! You are definitely going to make black belt before I do." And he asked how so and I told him that I'd quit being K-sensei's student. And he surprised me: he asked if I wanted to talk about it, and when I said I was hopeful about the future black belt or no, he said that they'd love to see me back at the kung fu school.

 

And boy, did I think long about that one. I ultimately came out against it - I don't mind being a white belt again, and I don't mind being subordinate to my brother, but I've seen what their sparring looks like and I lack conviction in their techniques. They're focused on speed rather than power, and my understanding of speed is to view it as a side effect of an efficient transition from one powerful completed technique to the next.

 

Still. I'm thinking about it. I'm wondering if I could put myself at my brother's service regardless, if there's some way for me to get on the mats with him and allow him to test his stuff in good faith. I dunno, but. It's something to think about.

 

Do you have to have conviction in their technique? Could you consider it play and/or something you do on and off again as it fits your mood and schedule? Like cardio on a mat. I dunno. 

 

48 minutes ago, Kishi said:

I got in touch with the kyokushin place. The sensei there was a little leery at the idea of a beginner coming out to a kata/technique class, but I asserted myself and said that I'd been studying Shotokan for 10 years, and I wasn't a stranger to this kind of work. That cleared it up. So I'm scheduled to meet him tonight at 18:00, although I'm wondering now if I should bring my gi and if he's expecting me to get out on the mats with them. Damn. Didn't think that far ahead. Of course, though, it is payday today, and if they sell gi there then I don't mind another one. First rule of karate - never say no to new gi. :D

 

Sensei mentioned kyokushin randomly of his own accord when we were talking last night. Thought that was serendipitous. I think it's good he wanted to be sure about your background before agreeing if they are as hardcore as advertised. I like that in a Sensei. "If he dies, he dies" is funny until it's you lol. Wooooo mat time.

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37 minutes ago, Urgan said:

Do you have to have conviction in their technique? Could you consider it play and/or something you do on and off again as it fits your mood and schedule? Like cardio on a mat. I dunno. 

 

No, I get what you're saying. And, yes, I do have to have that conviction. Without wanting to present myself toxically or arrogantly, a great deal of what I consider to be play is to execute biomechanically correct technique against an opponent who forces me to make the circumstances in which the technique could work. Judo, BJJ, and boxing have me doing that, and it would feel weird to have the lion's share of my time taken up doing something that wasn't that, particularly as the kung fu school bills itself as being such a place when I can see in their movement that they are not.

 

That's part of the reason that I want to offer my services to my brother. One of the things that stuck out to me about his test (beyond the positive atmosphere which is probably what started all this on a subconscious level for me, just saying) is that he is now responsible for teaching. So he's having to extract from their drills things that are biomechanically correct, and he's having to give them to students but he's not necessarily doing so from a position of having to make the circumstances where they work. Joint locks work if you give the person the opportunity to make them work, but getting them to work when the uke really, honestly, genuinely Does Not Want is a different beast, and I don't trust them to know the difference. I could see making myself as a training dummy for him as play, and constructive play at that, but I know that to do is going to put him in a position to rethink and possibly unlearn some things and I'm just not interested in putting myself in a similar position.

 

1 hour ago, Urgan said:

Sensei mentioned kyokushin randomly of his own accord when we were talking last night. Thought that was serendipitous. I think it's good he wanted to be sure about your background before agreeing if they are as hardcore as advertised. I like that in a Sensei. "If he dies, he dies" is funny until it's you lol. Wooooo mat time.

 

Yeah. I just. Gah. This feels so tricky. Like I'm not trying to transfer rank or anything like that. I don't mind starting over at the bottom, particularly if there's genuine kata as opposed to a kata/kihon blend, but I feel like if I don't tell him then I'm dealing in bad faith and I'll out myself if I just walk into a beginner's class and start blasting the pads.

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11 minutes ago, Kishi said:

No, I get what you're saying. And, yes, I do have to have that conviction. Without wanting to present myself toxically or arrogantly, a great deal of what I consider to be play is to execute biomechanically correct technique against an opponent who forces me to make the circumstances in which the technique could work. Judo, BJJ, and boxing have me doing that, and it would feel weird to have the lion's share of my time taken up doing something that wasn't that, particularly as the kung fu school bills itself as being such a place when I can see in their movement that they are not.

 

That's part of the reason that I want to offer my services to my brother. One of the things that stuck out to me about his test (beyond the positive atmosphere which is probably what started all this on a subconscious level for me, just saying) is that he is now responsible for teaching. So he's having to extract from their drills things that are biomechanically correct, and he's having to give them to students but he's not necessarily doing so from a position of having to make the circumstances where they work. Joint locks work if you give the person the opportunity to make them work, but getting them to work when the uke really, honestly, genuinely Does Not Want is a different beast, and I don't trust them to know the difference. I could see making myself as a training dummy for him as play, and constructive play at that, but I know that to do is going to put him in a position to rethink and possibly unlearn some things and I'm just not interested in putting myself in a similar position.

 

Now might not be the time to try to unpack this then.

 

12 minutes ago, Kishi said:

Yeah. I just. Gah. This feels so tricky. Like I'm not trying to transfer rank or anything like that. I don't mind starting over at the bottom, particularly if there's genuine kata as opposed to a kata/kihon blend, but I feel like if I don't tell him then I'm dealing in bad faith and I'll out myself if I just walk into a beginner's class and start blasting the pads.

 

We've had "white belts" (newcomers to our dojo with years of experience elsewhere) in our advanced class, given it's easy to integrate people who are willing to learn. You were honest and let him know you weren't trying to jump the fence as a newbie martial artist, but you'd be willing to try whatever they think is best based on the potential disconnect between styles, right? Obviously you're not going to try to show off on Day 1, whichever class you take lol.

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24 minutes ago, Urgan said:

We've had "white belts" (newcomers to our dojo with years of experience elsewhere) in our advanced class, given it's easy to integrate people who are willing to learn. You were honest and let him know you weren't trying to jump the fence as a newbie martial artist, but you'd be willing to try whatever they think is best based on the potential disconnect between styles, right? Obviously you're not going to try to show off on Day 1, whichever class you take lol.

 

I tried to be! I told him about my experience and that it definitely wasn't the same as his style, but that I wasn't a stranger to the kind of work they were doing. I asked if he'd be okay with me coming by. He said sure. So... I mean. I'm dealing in good faith, here.

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1 hour ago, Kishi said:

 

I tried to be! I told him about my experience and that it definitely wasn't the same as his style, but that I wasn't a stranger to the kind of work they were doing. I asked if he'd be okay with me coming by. He said sure. So... I mean. I'm dealing in good faith, here.

 

Well then it should be all good, then? Have fun.

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17 hours ago, Urgan said:

 

Well then it should be all good, then? Have fun.

 

Did. :D

 

*

 

So. Went to the kyokushin dojo last night. They definitely wanted me out on the mats, and I needed a gi for it. Fortunately, they had one sized for me.

 

What followed was a very traditional class. I'm talking traditional stances, Japanese terminology, kata, whole nine yards. Bunch of kids and juveniles, and I think I was the one adult aside from a black belt who showed up later. I yelled so many kiai that my throat hurts today.

 

So naturally, it being traditional, it focused on some stuff that I don't find terribly efficient - things like step-in side kick with the rear leg, back stances, things like that. Because of course, nobody's perfect.

 

But guys. You guys. The atmosphere is so much better. The sensei in this place is also from NYC, but he's this big friendly dude who's crazy positive. He's aware of and respects my former teacher, and he was willing to listen to my grievances on the matter. We got to talking about dojo politics, as apparently there was another school in the area that he ultimately outgrew and outperformed, so we have that in common. He's also got some students who go to a church I used to attend whom I know to be solid men.

 

So, signed the dotted line that very night, which I think surprised the hell out of Ky-sensei. Probably a bit of a rebound thing happening on a psychological level, but whatever. I'm a kyokushin student now. The hardest part being, now, to figure out if I can/should balance another Saturday class on top of everything else.

 

But you know, that's not the craziest part. The craziest part about all this? This dojo is right across from my brother's kwoon.

 

So he and I gotta find a way to get together at some point. We just gotta.

 

Anyway. That's life now. Today, I'm headed down to Charleston to visit a friend, so I'll be leaving work early. Fortunately, I don't need to do much to train these days, between necessary regressions and adaptations, so I don't need to hit up the gym or anything like that.

 

Oh, and my shadowboxing's up to 2 minutes a day. Solid, steady. One art a day.

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5 minutes ago, Kishi said:

What followed was a very traditional class. I'm talking traditional stances, Japanese terminology, kata, whole nine yards. Bunch of kids and juveniles, and I think I was the one adult aside from a black belt who showed up later. I yelled so many kiai that my throat hurts today.

 

So naturally, it being traditional, it focused on some stuff that I don't find terribly efficient - things like step-in side kick with the rear leg, back stances, things like that. Because of course, nobody's perfect.

 

But guys. You guys. The atmosphere is so much better. The sensei in this place is also from NYC, but he's this big friendly dude who's crazy positive. He's aware of and respects my former teacher, and he was willing to listen to my grievances on the matter. We got to talking about dojo politics, as apparently there was another school in the area that he ultimately outgrew and outperformed, so we have that in common. He's also got some students who go to a church I used to attend whom I know to be solid men.

 

So, signed the dotted line that very night, which I think surprised the hell out of Ky-sensei. Probably a bit of a rebound thing happening on a psychological level, but whatever. I'm a kyokushin student now. The hardest part being, now, to figure out if I can/should balance another Saturday class on top of everything else.

 

But you know, that's not the craziest part. The craziest part about all this? This dojo is right across from my brother's kwoon.

 

So he and I gotta find a way to get together at some point. We just gotta.

 

Anyway. That's life now. Today, I'm headed down to Charleston to visit a friend, so I'll be leaving work early. Fortunately, I don't need to do much to train these days, between necessary regressions and adaptations, so I don't need to hit up the gym or anything like that.

 

Oh, and my shadowboxing's up to 2 minutes a day. Solid, steady. One art a day.

 

This sounds like my transition from Shinkendo to Aikido--the former felt much more srs and intense than the latter, but at the end of the day it's something you can keep showing up for and not feel (emotionally) beat down when you leave. That's got to be worth something, it's just got to. 

 

This seems like the best possible outcome for you anyone could have asked for. If nothing else, you get access to a lot of new experiences. 

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My condolences on your breakup. It's difficult. It won't be totally awesome for a while. One day at a time. Some compassion for your former sensei will help a lot, and maybe seeing him socially would be possible. It sounds like you guys really like each other, just stopped working out well in the dojo. Ask him out for a coffee or weekday lunch in a couple of weeks when you're more settled. Maybe tell him you'd like to buy him lunch as a thank you, and try for a regular coffee date.

 

And...

 

42 minutes ago, Kishi said:

But guys. You guys. The atmosphere is so much better. The sensei in this place is also from NYC, but he's this big friendly dude who's crazy positive.

 

42 minutes ago, Kishi said:

He's also got some students who go to a church I used to attend whom I know to be solid men. 

 

I'm really glad. This sounds like a good fit. It will be good for you. Martial arts ain't a paramilitary group you join, it's about skill but also trust and the character of the people you surround yourself with. Don't sweat the comparisons now, just enjoy the healthy training atmosphere, and let your brain unwind from recent stress. Stress is unpredictable, and can hit hardest when things get better. Could be a bit rocky, who knows. Just take some time to soak in a training environment run by solid, positive people. When you've got a relationship with the new folks, when you've shown them you're also solid and positive and care about mentoring, then you can go to town on adjusting the training.

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Just caught up.  So sorry you ended up having to deal with that, but the new place looks much better.  Hope you can relax and train without stress.  You're balancing a lot and neither need nor deserve it.   Judo really does tend towards some cultish tendencies.

 

FWIW, I've been worried about your former sensei since you told me he was training you first as a sparring partner and second as a martial artist in your own right.  Training someone should always be about helping them, not the instructor.

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:07 AM, Urgan said:

This sounds like my transition from Shinkendo to Aikido--the former felt much more srs and intense than the latter, but at the end of the day it's something you can keep showing up for and not feel (emotionally) beat down when you leave. That's got to be worth something, it's just got to.

 

I think so. Between that and the fact that the classes start and end earlier, it means I can get in and out and done at an earlier time. So I can go to bed earlier and be up earlier and maybe have time for more things. Shoot, I dunno if the reason I ain't been to judo has been physical or mental fatigue, but either way, I feel like I can make it back.

 

On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:07 AM, Urgan said:

This seems like the best possible outcome for you anyone could have asked for. If nothing else, you get access to a lot of new experiences.

 

Yeah. I think so.

 

On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:59 AM, sarakingdom said:

My condolences on your breakup. It's difficult. It won't be totally awesome for a while. One day at a time. Some compassion for your former sensei will help a lot, and maybe seeing him socially would be possible. It sounds like you guys really like each other, just stopped working out well in the dojo. Ask him out for a coffee or weekday lunch in a couple of weeks when you're more settled. Maybe tell him you'd like to buy him lunch as a thank you, and try for a regular coffee date.

 

Well, compassion I can do. As for seeing him socially, well, he seems to have unfriended me on Facebook and seems to have distanced himself from the other student. So. I dunno. May not be for a while. We work in the same building, so we'll probably run into each other at some point.

 

On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:59 AM, sarakingdom said:

I'm really glad. This sounds like a good fit. It will be good for you. Martial arts ain't a paramilitary group you join, it's about skill but also trust and the character of the people you surround yourself with. Don't sweat the comparisons now, just enjoy the healthy training atmosphere, and let your brain unwind from recent stress. Stress is unpredictable, and can hit hardest when things get better. Could be a bit rocky, who knows. Just take some time to soak in a training environment run by solid, positive people. When you've got a relationship with the new folks, when you've shown them you're also solid and positive and care about mentoring, then you can go to town on adjusting the training.

 

Yup. That's kind of how I'm running it right now. It's weird. I went down to Charleston to visit a friend of mine, and I was stiff and sore in ways I haven't been in... well, a long, long time. But I was so much happier and felt so much more settled and present rather than feeling this need to rush and get back on the mats. I feel... lighter, if that makes sense.

 

On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 4:51 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm so glad you found a good fit in that dojo.

 

Me too. It was nice. I'm not sure if I'm just stoked toward the new or what, but I'm really excited and hopeful about my training going forward.

 

On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:44 PM, ReturnOfTheDad said:

Enjoy, you’re in the company of the venerable GSP and other greats. Solid stuff man.

 

So fun fact: when the classes were first being established for the Rebellion, GSP was considered the quintessential example of what a monk should be. Not bad company at all. :)

 

20 hours ago, Teirin said:

Just caught up.  So sorry you ended up having to deal with that, but the new place looks much better.  Hope you can relax and train without stress.  You're balancing a lot and neither need nor deserve it.   Judo really does tend towards some cultish tendencies.

 

Thanks. Yeah, I'm kind of hoping that even if I wind up getting pummeled and beat on physically that it doesn't get into my head mentally. I have to admit, I've gotten real paranoid about how I'm comporting myself now; I'm looking into buying a tripod for my phone so I can film myself on the bag and check to make sure that my movement remains sharp. I think it'll help that we have mirrors in the new place as well. Should be good.

 

20 hours ago, Teirin said:

FWIW, I've been worried about your former sensei since you told me he was training you first as a sparring partner and second as a martial artist in your own right.  Training someone should always be about helping them, not the instructor.

 

Yeah. And I dunno. I wonder if that's part of the reason that he was always twisting arms to get people to come along with him. He wanted to train all the time, but he could have done plenty on his own; I wonder if, in his mind, the benefit he took for himself was conflated with the benefit he gave for training others regardless of what they wanted.

 

But that's just speculation at this point. I doubt I get an answer to that any time soon, or ever. Not my problem anymore.

 

*

 

So! Charleston was cool, I thought. I think it'd be better to visit when it's warmer and the beach is a viable option, but it was still pleasant down there and I'm quite confident that its reputation as one of the culinary capitols of the country is well-deserved. And I didn't even get to try any of the seafood!

 

It was a pretty quiet trip, actually. Mostly just an extended hangout with a former roommate of mine whom I reconnected with. He's extremely well-read and thoughtful, and actually succeeded in getting me to read some harder literature while I was down there with him, because he was willing to acknowledge that the pulp stuff has its value as well. We talked a lot about politics and philosophy and about my falling out with K-sensei. We watched a lot of stand-up comedy and walked around town. As my friend is head of the maker-space at the Citadel library, we checked that out, so it was lot of VR tech and 3D printing type stuff. He put me through a VR haunted house, the bastard, but it was really cool as long as I reminded myself that it was trying to scare me. We checked out an art museum and saw Fort Sumter and just generally chilled.

 

There were some other friends in town that we'd hoped to hang with, but they fell through. Which is how they were back in the old days when we hung out together. I feel bad about that, as one of them has a relative who was struck with cancer and I suspect that's part of why our plans fell through, but then again it's not exactly inconsistent.

 

The only training I did was some shadowboxing; I didn't do anything beyond that. I had some idea that I was going to train after driving home, but I got home late enough that I decided it would be a bad idea. So. No training. I felt mildly scandalized with myself, but I instead elected to get to bed early, and as a result I got up early, got to work earlier and will be able to get out earlier.

 

Because a little rest isn't going to kill me. :)

 

Speaking of, though, there'll be some more rest today and then back at it tomorrow.

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Not much to report. Restful night was restful. Lot of time gaming and hanging with a dude afterward who was just stoked about the system we're playing now. It carried on longer than I would have liked, but mostly on account of me wanting to go home and get to bed early rather than unpleasant company.

 

I still managed to shadowbox. This time it was for BJJ, so think lots of unorthodox crawly type stuff. Did that for a few minutes. Felt good.

 

I'd hoped I'd be up early enough to get kettlebells done, but that didn't happen. Shoot. So, karate first and kettlebells second. The class tonight is a "fight" class, which... I dunno what that's gonna be about. My reflex is to go hit a heavy bag and skip rope with the extra time when I go to post-dojo gym, but this dojo has heavy bags and I don't know what it's gonna look like. So I'm keeping loose with my plans. Just wanna be efficient and make the most of things, you know?

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Wow, a lot happened to you in the last week. I'm glad that you got to a resolution with K-sensei and found a better dojo to train at.

 

I want to second all the supportive and soul-searching advice from the other Nerds.

 

Since you are looking with fresh eyes at moving forwards, here is another piece to consider. There are lots of options for you in continuing your training past 40. One of the senior instructors at our dojo just turned 76. He practices karate, traditional Japanese weapons (katori shinto ryu) and aikido. He is the chief instructor of the karate and katori schools, but not the aikido school. He has had two knee replacements and cancer treatment. He's slowed down a lot from his younger days. I still wouldn't get anywhere near him in a fight. My training partner calls this sensei's aikido class "how to kill a man 12 ways". He is living proof that a person can have a full time job, a family and train martial arts. He got in a lot more training time after he retired.

 

When you start in an art everything is new and you just take your teacher's word on faith. After a couple years you start asking "does this really work?". You look at other arts just like you look at different strength training programs. Each art offers different things. One of my friends at the dojo started karate after she took her shodan test. Our Japanese senior instructor told her she needed to learn to punch. She got a black belt in karate and then stopped because she wanted to put her training hours in doing aikido. Other people continue to train multiple arts. You've already listed some of the things you want to get out of cross training.

 

The next level comes when you start to get fluent in one or more styles. You need to find training partners who can push your limits. Having an excellent teacher is great, but that is just one person with one body type. You need to train with a variety of people with different quirks and skills. That was never going to happen at your former dojo. You will discover that your technique works 85% of the time and be driven to fill that 15% gap. Travelling and training with other dojo members is great for broadening your perspective.

 

Eventually you will have to design your own program. Maybe you will be lucky enough to have really good teachers who continue to develop in their arts and can keep taking you to the next level. At some point your teachers are going to retire and you will be on your own. You will need to be able to analyze your own weaknesses and figure out training plans to improve on your own. You are already doing that for general fitness, so it won't be a huge leap for you to transfer those skills to your martial arts training.

 

For now, I hope you can enjoy your time on the mat. Take some notes on the good and less good parts of each art, the instructors and how the schools are run. You can learn a lot more than how to win a fight if you keep your eyes open.

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22 hours ago, Mistr said:

Wow, a lot happened to you in the last week. I'm glad that you got to a resolution with K-sensei and found a better dojo to train at.

 

I want to second all the supportive and soul-searching advice from the other Nerds.

 

Yeah. It's been busy. I feel so much... lighter, though, without that being over my head.

 

22 hours ago, Mistr said:

Since you are looking with fresh eyes at moving forwards, here is another piece to consider. There are lots of options for you in continuing your training past 40. One of the senior instructors at our dojo just turned 76. He practices karate, traditional Japanese weapons (katori shinto ryu) and aikido. He is the chief instructor of the karate and katori schools, but not the aikido school. He has had two knee replacements and cancer treatment. He's slowed down a lot from his younger days. I still wouldn't get anywhere near him in a fight. My training partner calls this sensei's aikido class "how to kill a man 12 ways". He is living proof that a person can have a full time job, a family and train martial arts. He got in a lot more training time after he retired.

 

When you start in an art everything is new and you just take your teacher's word on faith. After a couple years you start asking "does this really work?". You look at other arts just like you look at different strength training programs. Each art offers different things. One of my friends at the dojo started karate after she took her shodan test. Our Japanese senior instructor told her she needed to learn to punch. She got a black belt in karate and then stopped because she wanted to put her training hours in doing aikido. Other people continue to train multiple arts. You've already listed some of the things you want to get out of cross training.

 

The next level comes when you start to get fluent in one or more styles. You need to find training partners who can push your limits. Having an excellent teacher is great, but that is just one person with one body type. You need to train with a variety of people with different quirks and skills. That was never going to happen at your former dojo. You will discover that your technique works 85% of the time and be driven to fill that 15% gap. Travelling and training with other dojo members is great for broadening your perspective.

 

Yeah. I kind of feel it already. That last bit in particular, that drive to fill the 15%, really seems to hit the nail on the head for me. Like I went out and bought a tripod for my phone so I can film myself on the heavy bag. Never done that before. And I'm looking into some of the process stuff that K-sensei gave me prior to our split and finding ways to approach that and then work on just about everything else.

 

So, in a fit of irony, it seems that the only way for me to become driven to do the things I was told to do to improve was to cut myself off from the person who told me to do them. :D

 

22 hours ago, Mistr said:

Eventually you will have to design your own program. Maybe you will be lucky enough to have really good teachers who continue to develop in their arts and can keep taking you to the next level. At some point your teachers are going to retire and you will be on your own. You will need to be able to analyze your own weaknesses and figure out training plans to improve on your own. You are already doing that for general fitness, so it won't be a huge leap for you to transfer those skills to your martial arts training.

 

Osu. I'm feeling some of that already. It's like this yawning void, but at the same time it feels like I could jump into it and fly.

 

Of course, falling is just flying in one direction so.

 

22 hours ago, Mistr said:

For now, I hope you can enjoy your time on the mat. Take some notes on the good and less good parts of each art, the instructors and how the schools are run. You can learn a lot more than how to win a fight if you keep your eyes open.

 

Osu. I do have much to learn.

 

*

 

Hit the mats again last night. And whoooa buddy but that was fun. Very different from what I've done before.

 

So, it turned out to not be a pure-sparring class. It was more about conditioning and timing than it was anything else. We did spar, but the emphasis was on 30-second rounds and continuous work with multiple partners rather than long rounds with a single, like I'm used to in randori in judo and BJJ. I'm fairly confident this was a function of the amount of people we had on the mat; we had a lot of people on the mat and space was definitely at a premium. I reckon the situation would have been different if we had less people there. Time will tell.

 

But on the whole, there's a lot of carryover from what I was doing to what I'm doing now. We did a lot of pivot work and interruption w/ front leg front kick, which is essentially a push kick or a teep. I wound up correcting my senpai on his technique - nothing major, just trying to cue him to use his hips. But the dynamic was such that it led to me directing him through most of the drills rather than the other way around. It wasn't any trouble; I apologized to Ky-sensei afterward and he was super chill, said there wasn't any reason for me not to use my experience to help.

 

The other striking thing is how friendly everyone is here. All the senpai came up afterward and introduced themselves, and I was made to feel welcome. Even when we were beating on each other (with cloth pads. Good grief. My bruises have bruises) there was never a sense of anger or resentment or anything. Just hard training with good people who actually wanted to be there.

 

I have to admit, even as weary as I am today, like I told @Mistr, I just feel light. Buoyant, almost. I want to go back already.

 

As it is, last night I took that enthusiasm and went to the gym. S&S, skipped rope, shadowboxed. Hit the heavy bag for a while with a focus on transitioning from punch to kick on the same side. Then realized I could also work an evasion out of it as well. Totally forgot to film it, though. Shoot. The other thing is I went a little later when I shouldn't have, and it fed into a bunch of vicious cycles which I barely broke.

 

Fortunately, though, it wasn't that bad, because I didn't have to prep food for today. Because of pizza lunch for new coworkers. On a rest day. -_- 'kay.

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1 hour ago, Kishi said:

Yeah. I kind of feel it already. That last bit in particular, that drive to fill the 15%, really seems to hit the nail on the head for me. Like I went out and bought a tripod for my phone so I can film myself on the heavy bag. Never done that before. And I'm looking into some of the process stuff that K-sensei gave me prior to our split and finding ways to approach that and then work on just about everything else.

 

So, in a fit of irony, it seems that the only way for me to become driven to do the things I was told to do to improve was to cut myself off from the person who told me to do them.

Osu. I'm feeling some of that already. It's like this yawning void, but at the same time it feels like I could jump into it and fly.

 

Of course, falling is just flying in one direction so.

 

Good for you taking responsibility for your own progress. There is a long history of people being great martial artists and not-so-stellar human beings. You are at a point where you can do the training and evaluate for yourself whether it is making a difference. Getting out from under the negative emotions was clearly exactly what you needed to make that leap possible.

 

It's okay to try things and fail. Or try them and decide they are fine but not for you. The 7th dan who taught the instructor's seminar I went to last fall talked about this issue. Really senior people have to go out and investigate things on their own. She said that it is easy to spend months going down a dead end. Having a few other people you can trust to give you honest feedback helps a lot. Even so, you have to do your own experiments first.

 

1 hour ago, Kishi said:

The other striking thing is how friendly everyone is here. All the senpai came up afterward and introduced themselves, and I was made to feel welcome. Even when we were beating on each other (with cloth pads. Good grief. My bruises have bruises) there was never a sense of anger or resentment or anything. Just hard training with good people who actually wanted to be there.

 

I have to admit, even as weary as I am today, like I told @Mistr, I just feel light. Buoyant, almost. I want to go back already.

 

Yay!

 

I'm so glad you found a good dojo!

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