Friday, 30 December 2011

Holiday Breaks in the Martial Arts

The end of the year is always a great excuse to celebrate with friends and family. In the martial arts, it's a chance to show your instructors and fellow students what you've learned in the past 12 months and, at the same time, exposing what you need to work on in the next twelve.

We had three different celebrations this December, and unfortunately, had to miss out on a fourth due to scheduling conflicts.
  1. Mu Mon Kai (Iaido) - last class of the year - Consisted of regular practice, a taikai, a special demonstration, gift giving, annual club elections, and celebration dinner
  2. Sei Kyu Kai (Kyudo) - Noshakai - Consisted of a taikai, a prize shooting, nosha, and celebration dinner
  3. AYC (Iaido) - Toshi Koshi Keiko - Consisted of 100+ kata practice, and celebration dinner
I will go into more detail later due to a lack of pictures at this time. This won't be a problem anymore as my honey bought me a new iPhone 4S with 8MP camera! =D Yay! Can't wait to use it at the next event. ^_^

The end of the year is also a great excuse to let yourself go. Facilities close, classes are cancelled, and numerous social gatherings, loaded floor to ceiling with delicious foods. 

Last weekend was the first time in a while of having no scheduled practice, and it felt weird.  Averaging five days of martial arts training a week, with one rest day, and one for recreation (basketball), it's not often that I get two straight days of blank space to fill. I didn't feel relieved, I felt unproductive. If you feel the same way too, then you might also have a case of MAIAWOL.

It is often taken as cliche or overly romantic when one states that the Martial Arts Is A Way Of Life, but really, there's nothing mystical about it. To me, there is nothing more relaxing and tiring, easy and difficult, esteem boosting and ego smashing, than the Martial Arts. And as a result, nothing feels more life-affirming than the opportunity to train and interact with your dojomates.

So now, at the end of the 2011, the only thing I feel is excitement for 2012. A new year to celebrate what we've achieved. A new year to continue facing the unknown with confidence in myself and the support of those around me; and a new year to seek out challenges and opportunities to grow and contribute to the community.

P.S. I feel so fat right now.

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