Monday, June 11, 2018

The New Armory

I've moved a lot in my life.

After I started training in the martial arts in 2008, I've moved four times (three of them very long distance). Outside of the various hassles that everybody has moving (protip - put the books in SMALL boxes), each of my moves has involved various levels of logistics and planning for my martial arts equipment. 

I didn't own much stuff when I started training in Mississippi and then I moved to Nevada, so it was no big deal.  But after we moved to Texas and started training in earnest with my teacher, we accumulated a lot more stuff.

I like to joke that I have a problem with owning so much martial arts stuff, and the problem is storage space. It can't possibly be owning too much martial arts stuff because that's unpossible.

As I've moved, more often than not, I end up having more martial arts stuff to move into increasingly smaller spaces with less places to store things. As a result, I have to get more creative with how and where I store my stuff each time I move.

It's also not just a matter of storage. It's also a matter of having space in the house to train, as the places I've been living have been stupid hot and often had very little space outside that's usable for training..  I often had zero shade in places where it was usual for it to get to triple digits in the summertime (and summertime lasts a loooonnnngg time, y'all.  In Texas I have worn shorts on Thanksgiving).

My first house in Texas was pretty big and I had plenty of space for a real home dojo. I wrote about it here: Pimp My Home Dojo.  It was a pretty sweet house for training!

Best home dojo EVER.

My second house in Texas had zero storage space so I didn't have a home dojo - my garage was too full for a training space. This area was mainly used to just store things until I could leave the house to train.

Martial arts stuff has become my 2nd biggest category of belongings, after books, and might be first if we count certificates, uniforms, and martial arts t-shirts. Packing them for the move was tricky. I ended up encasing my naginata like a lollipop at the blade side and driving it up in my car because I was terrified of that tip getting broken off, for example.

My new house in Missouri was built in 1959 and has zero storage space.  It is smaller than any house I've lived in since I started training, by a good 400 square feet.

BUT it has a few advantages most of my houses in other states didn't have.

First, I have a basement.  We've semi-finished it, and part of the plan included an area for my martial arts stuff.  Here's a snapshot of the space, even though it's not quite finished yet and you can't see EVERYTHING I have:

The New Armory. Not seen - my personal gear bag, wallhanger swords, some kicking shields,
a BOB, a Bully BOB, and a Wavemaster.

Second, my house has trees. LOTS OF BIG TREES, with lots of shade, all over my lot.  Plus, the driveway, which is pretty long, is shaded all day long.  It's not in the best shape right now, but when it gets replaced, it's going to be a wonderful training space.  Ditto my back yard when I get a patio put in back there.

Third, I moved to a place where summer ends before Halloween and rarely starts before Easter, so it's a lot more comfortable, even if it's more humid than Nevada or Texas were by a mile (it's not quite Mississippi level humid, though...).  Training outside in the shade in the summer won't be a torture session, even in the worst of high summer in July and August.

I don't have a great home dojo like I did in my first Texas house, but I do have a pretty sweet New Armory.  I'm still unpacking so there's a lot more work to be done in this area, but I am pleased with how it's come out so far!

Tell me about how you store your martial arts stuff at home - how have you managed moving, storing, and displaying it all?  Do you have a dedicated space? What's your home dojo like? How do you train at home?  Let me know in the comments!