Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Into the Great Wide Open

2017 was a big year for me in the martial arts.

I was promoted to Dayang Dalawa (2nd Degree Black) in Presas Arnis by my teacher in the spring, and Shodan (1st Degree Black) in Kobudo in November.

The next ranks in those styles are not clearly defined in terms of time it takes or what is even required to demonstrate for those ranks. In any case, even if they were, it'd be years and years before the next rank promotion.

This means that for the foreseeable future I don't have any concrete goals related to rank progression in the martial arts.

I'm in the camp of "rank isn't terribly important" and "why we study has nothing to rank" point of view, to be sure.  The point of all this work isn't some certificate and the ability to claim such-and-such rank.

Me, I'm very interested in becoming the deadliest little old lady around.

Like this, but with knives.

But still, it's weird to not have a concrete goal in front of me.  There hasn't been a time where I wasn't working towards a specific goal in the martial arts.  I've been working towards one rank or another ever since I started training in 2008.

My martial arts future has no agenda, no requirements, and is completely up to me.

On the one hand, it's so weird.  I am a future-oriented planning kind of person who likes to have goals to work toward.  I get antsy when I can't plan ahead.

On the other hand, it's kinda neat to have a period where I can just study what I'm interested in just because I want to.  I do have some non-martial arts stuff that will be dominating my attention in 2018 coming up and it's nice to have the ability to deal with those things without it interfering with my martial arts progress.

For the time being, I'll just keep studying and learning Presas Arnis, my core style and the one I like best. I'll attend the kobudo "seniors" class to learn kama and jo.  I have made some contacts that I'm hoping can do some on-the-side teaching of nunchaku because I want to explore that further.

Additionally, I will wear a white gi only when absolutely necessary.

When the opportunity to train in other stuff comes up, I'll take it, because why shouldn't I?

It's kinda scary, but it's also really exhilarating.

Have you been at a point in your martial arts training where you didn't have any concrete goals in front of you?  How did you stay motivated to keep at it?  Let us know in the comments!