Wow, it's 2011. A lot of things have changed in the past year. It was a good year for karate. I tested for all three of my belts: orange in February, green in April, May and June (three times!), and blue in December, just before Christmas. I started teaching this year, too. New students came, old students left, I made headway with my choke defense...and guess what? My double-leg takedown has improved a lot since the beginning of the month.
I didn't make new year's goals last year because I guess I wasn't as serious about karate as I am now, but this year I'm making them.
Next year, on New Year's Day, I want to be able to say that I've improved my thought-process and focus while sparring, gotten into much better physical condition (I want to be able to do fifty push-ups in a minute and twenty-five seconds), and I want to be able to proficiently teach at least up to orange belt basics. Green once I feel comfortable with orange.
Here's the big one, though. This time next year, I want to be able to say that I've applied martial arts to my life, but specifically the discipline part of it. Martial artists should devote a lot of time and patience and effort to practicing, but they should also devote the same level of time, patience, and effort to their relationships, their schoolwork and careers, their faith, and their family. That's a big one for me because I tend to over-devote time to things that I like to do and not necessarily to things that I need to do.
I have other responsibilities in my life which should be given the same amount of devotion and effort as I give to martial arts every week.
On a side note, today I attended Sensei's daughter, Christine's karate birthday party! It was great! We played a few games of duck and jump and a game called 'turtle shell', in which both combatants attempt to get on top of each others' backs and hold them there for ten seconds. I versed my sister KC, a friend of ours named Zoey, Sensei's youngest daughter Carol (she won), and Sensei.
I let the kids beat me, but I didn't let Sensei beat me. I just didn't stand a chance! It was over in five minutes. It ended with an improvised rear naked choke. He is so strong...but what should I have expected?
Someday I'll get him. :P
Maybe by next year? Somehow I think that may be pushing it.
Anyway, happy new year to anyone who's reading this! If you're a martial arts student, then let's agree to train hard in the upcoming year and to train smart!
Ganbatte! Let's do our best!