Laziness, sloth, procrastination, slowly growing in width, difficulty concentrating for long times, lower endurance -- these are things that I have been feeling progressively more and more. It did not help that I started smoking. In lieu of New Years, or perhaps coincidentally reaching my threshold then, I decided to start fixing myself. I was getting smarter (maybe not) learning emotionally, getting better at go, but my body was slowly deteriorating. I was quite tired of this, so I set out to find a place to practice martial arts.
Just a little history, I have practiced martial arts since I was about 4 years old, I started out in Tae Kwan Do, and then I did shotokan for a few years, and most recently I practiced Goju Ryu. I was almost always doing something, but In Sophomore year of high school, something dreadful yet wonderful happened. I discovered Manga, and shortly thereafter Go. My life changed forever, and this and that and here I am. I attempted to start something in Korea, but aside from meeting a TaeKwondo 9d who used to be a bodyguard for Princess Diana, and being offered free lessons by him, and also being friends with a Muy Thai "4d" (although I wasn't really aware they had a rating system), I failed. I had opportunities, but I didn't take them. Well now I had a little break from school due to problems with my financial aid, so I decided to make the most of my time, and do something.
So I set out to find a school which suited my needs. I was considering taking Muy Thai, I rather enjoyed the one lesson my friend gave me back in Korea. Unfortunately it is difficult to find a gym that I could afford, and that was in any convinient location. After eliminating other potential choices, such as Daitoryu Aikijiujutsu, Aikido, and Kyokushin Karate, I settled on the Seido Juku style of Karate.
The deciding factors were: The grandmaster of the style teaches at the school, there are several classes daily at different times, 300 bucks for first 3 months.
Since I have started, about 2 weeks ago, I have felt so much better in everything. Even in Go, I have been able to concentrate more, and I have just generally been playing better. My teacher, VIncent Liu, told me that I am strong enough that I just have to learn right now how to concentrate and I should go up a few stones. I think I might be getting it.
One of the great things about the Karate dojo is the meditation classes. I am really enjoying the meditation, its been helping me renormalize my breathing since I quit smoking, but also the lectures that Kaicho (grandmaster) gives after meditation. You are Karate-ka, always, belt doesn't matter, Karate-ka always pushing, always trying be good, to do good, to be better.
I am a Baduk-ka.
(pun on Baduk and Budo-ka, Budo-ka means martial artist in Japanese, Baduk is Korean for Go.)