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Four Weeks

posted Sep 3, 2011, 4:11 PM by Eric Banks

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." 
- Helen Keller


It’s hard to believe it’s been about a month now since we opened and started training at our new dojo.  That first day was pretty sweet, but you know what?  I think it’s gotten even better in the short time we’ve been there, and I believe it will be even sweeter as the days and months press on.  Thank you to everyone who has worked to help us make this a reality.  Whether you have assisted through cleaning, by building needed equipment or donating supplies, or just by being a part of the group, thank you.  We still have many opportunities for you to help in the coming weeks, so keep those work clothes ready.


I’ve felt several things since the first class on the 3rd of January…first off all, I’ve felt, and still feel, humbled.  Won’t talk much about that, because to talk at length about it wouldn’t be all that humble.


Second, I’ve felt like now, with a place of our own, I can really ‘open up the box’ and go deep into the important concepts we are studying.  I calculated that at the old place, on average, we had about 2.5 hours a week of training time available to us.  Now that we are again able to have classes three times a week (and more if necessary), we have about 3.83 hours of regular class time available.  This month we’ve been reviewing basic and advanced blocking, looking at the individual techniques and the common body actions and connectivity necessary for each.  We’ve also looked at some blocks that I hadn’t presented before but that are found in kata and that are very useful.  While in the thinking-outside-the-box mode, we will wrap up the month with more sensing drills and application studies on how to use the basic and advanced blocks as strikes and attacks.  Good stuff. 


Next month we will begin a deep study of kicking techniques.  Also good stuff.


The third feeling I’ve noticed is a new sense of community among our group.  It’s very interesting how ‘a place of our own’ has helped to build this community-sense, and I believe it will not only continue to grow, but it will also help us bring others in.  A word of caution here: as we grow as a dojo family, we must always keep our circle open and welcoming to others; the tighter we grow, the more open we also need to be. 


On a related note, I’ve probably received more calls about beginner classes this month than in all of 2008, and several former students have spoken with me about coming back to class.  This is good.


Finally, I’ve felt and continue to feel a new sense of excitement.  Excitement for where we are, excitement for where we are going; excitement about preparing lessons, teaching and training you all, as well as new excitement in my self-training, and excitement and expectation about where this open door will lead.


Come train; there’s no other place in the area quite like our dojo.