Monday, September 12, 2016

Martial Arts Study (Just for the Fun of It)

So a small group of us have started what I've started thinking of as a "master class" in Okinawan Karate.  We meet once a month for a couple of hours to work on fundamental Okinawan Karate concepts.

It's a small group - four of us, plus an instructor.

It's very informal - we just got our gis and belts on and started studying.  We used our first class working on the finer points of stances (and moving forward and backward in those stances), and we started learning Pinan Nidan.

The video below is this form, but not quite the way we are learning it (similar, yes, but some of the details are different).

Here's the cool part - we aren't studying for rank.  Rank, for now at least, isn't a thing in this study group.  I am not a white belt studying for yellow or green belt.

It's just four people studying karate from an expert teacher in the art.  Just to learn it.  For the fun of it.

All four of the people in the group are experienced martial artists.  There are two black belts in other arts - myself and Older Daughter.  One of us has high rank in more than one art, and the other is a brown belt prepping for black.

The reasons we are all studying are different.  But rank can't be one of the reasons.

For myself, it's a way to enhance my empty hand skills as well as my kobudo study.  It's also a chance to learn from a martial artist I greatly respect in an art I greatly respect.  It is a way to challenge myself, mentally and physically.  It's a way to keep connected to Older Daughter, who is also in the group.

And it's FUN.

I understand the function of rank, and I get it, but I am definitely enjoying the idea of just studying and then some day, maybe, I'll be good enough and know enough for a black belt rank.  But it's not really a top concern.

Right now, I'm just working on my stances and Pinan Nidan and enjoying all I'm getting from it.

Have you had the opportunity to study a martial art style or concept and rank wasn't a thing or a concern?  You just did it to get good at it, to stretch your abilities and skills, or to just have fun with it?  Let us know in the comments!