Five Years Old
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Stick Chick Blog, when I published my first post, with the oh-so-original title of "Enter the Stick Chick".
That's right, if my blog were training in some styles, it's been around long enough to have a 1st degree black belt.
It wouldn't be as good as the girl in the video is, though.
I didn't originally start this blog to connect with, enlighten, and entertain you, dear readers. Nope, I started it to teach myself how to blog and how to use social media tools. I'm a marketer by trade and this was one area I didn't know much about at the time.
The advice was "write what you know, specifically in a niche". Y'know, a niche like martial arts. So it was an easy topic to get started with, documenting things I do and see and train in the martial arts, and hoping to connect myself to a wider martial arts world.
Here I am, five years later. I have learned a lot about blogging and social media and whatnot, but that ended up being the least of what I've learned.
Before I get to that, it's interesting to see how things have changed for me in the martial arts in five years. Here's what I've documented here on the blog since December 6, 2013.
✔ I got promoted to 2nd Degree Black in my primary style, Presas Arnis
✔ I started and completed a 3-year Kobudo course, earning 1st Black
✔ I helped get the Metroplex Arnis Players Alliance seminar series in Dallas/Fort Worth off the ground
✔ I opened, and then shuttered, a recreation center martial arts program in Texas
✔ I moved from Texas to Missouri
✔ I started a Meetup in Kansas City, and am working on building a small martial arts school here
✔ My oldest daughter was promoted to her 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo (now she's away at college) and my younger daughter started training
That's a lot of change, friends, and that's just the big stuff.
As I have to re-write and re-publish old posts since the server migration back in October, I get a chance to re-read and review what I was thinking back then, and sometimes, change my mind or be more nuanced in what I was trying to get to. Some posts get re-published nearly verbatim, but others get a complete rewrite.
Some old posts won't be re-published at all. Either the material is too dated or it was a series I was trying to get off the ground that didn't quite work. I mean, does anybody remember "Motion Monday"? I bet you don't (hell, what I remember about them was how hard it was to chase down acceptable video for the series). You might remember "Face-Off Friday" posts but those have morphed into "Showdown Saturday" questions on my Facebook page now.
And well, another reason you won't see a few old posts is that what I wrote back then just isn't where my head is these days. The tone and the focus of this blog has changed a bit since I started, and I like this direction.
Through this endeavor, I've met - virtually and in person - literally hundreds of people I wouldn't have known otherwise. Some have become good friends in real life. I've been able to connect with many of the world's top martial arts leaders and teachers, and that's been invaluable.
While our community has more than its fair share of con men, liars, and frauds, for all of the noise about them, they really make up a very, very small slice of the martial arts world. Most of us are honest, hard-working, dedicated students of the martial arts.
I'm amazed at how smart, how well educated, how wise, how insightful, and how downright friendly and kind most of you are, and I'm glad to be a member of the community that I like to call "weirdos who like to acquire bruises for funsies".
Thank you for reading the Stick Chick Blog. I promise that I'll keep writing about serious stuff, our culture, nerdy little technical posts, humor, and overall, the fun we have as martial artists.