This fish has been in our tank since we got it from my Uncle three years ago. This fish was in the tank when he got it from someone else. It has to be at least eight years old. It is a silver dollar fish and it has a mean disposition. We think it ate all the other fish in the tank.
It is now a lonely fish.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
My sister is having peroneal tendon surgery on Monday. She basically wore out the peroneal tendon in her ankle from overuse. K goes to the gym five days a week and on the weekend she bikes, hikes or snowshoes. She is having a difficult time with her approaching surgery. K will be in a non-removable boot for four to six weeks. She will be on crutches for four weeks. I am trying to help her because I know what it is like walking into the hospital carrying a brace and crutches and leaving the hospital using them. I let K borrow my crutches and gave her a quick lesson. As my Irish grandfather would always say "The only way to get through something is to go through it." K is going to be ok. Here she is hiking at her favorite place, the Grand Canyon.
My sixty-two year old Aunt passed out and was taken to the hospital. Her heart stopped and a surgeon had to perform emergency surgery. The inserted a pace-maker and she is going to be ok.
Then a phone call.
A family friend called and told us her 19 year old grandson died. He was the passenger in a car accident. The teenagers slid on black ice. They got out of the car to examine the damage. An oncoming car did not see them and hit the young man. He was in a coma for two weeks before he died.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I did not know it then but I know it now. As a brown belt I did not realize what he was trying to do for the class. Now that I am a class instructor I better understand.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The downside of my eBay endeavor was that I ended up wanting to keep the books rather than sell them. I made a few great deals. I found a small pamphlet on the history of a military base on Guam. I sold it to a man who was writing a book and he was thrilled to acquire it. I bought a box lot at an auction and inside was a personal narrative from WWII. I found a rare book on Pennsylvania German Samplers at an auction and paid only ten dollars. Once I bought a book on architecture at a second hand store and discovered it was worth over one hundred dollars. When my daughter started school, I gave up my eBay account and went back to work.
Despite my love for books, I realize that I do not have enough books on the martial arts. One of my martial arts resolutions for 2009 is to read more. Since the New Year, I started the habit of having a book with me at all times. I am hoping to get some great book recommendations. So…
What are you reading?
Do you have a favorite martial arts author?
What is your favorite martial arts book?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I think about the people that pass through the dojo door. Numerous people sign up for lessons but the percentage of people who reach black belt is low. Not to mention Nidan and above. On a business level, a dojo owner wants students to stay for obvious reasons. As an instructor, you want students to stay in order to pass on the tradition and to share what you have learned. From a students prospective, people represent training opportunities.
What is it about martial arts that leads to attrition? In the case of my Tai Chi class, I believe teaching in a gym environment is part of the problem. Tai Chi is offered to the gym membership just as a step, spin or body pump class. People try out a Tai Chi class and are looking for a tough physical workout. After a Tai Chi class, I feel that my brain gets the work out. There is so much to learn. I need to re-examine how the body moves and how the joints function independently.
In our dojo, some people view karate as an activity that fits into a time slot. There are young students that pop in and out of the dojo depending on their soccer, basketball or baseball schedule. In our over-scheduled world, karate becomes the activity to do in the off season or for a summer. I think it is harder for adults. Family and employment must come first and often that leaves little time for martial arts. The best case for an adult is when the entire family trains together. Sometimes the decision not to train is a difficult one to make.
In regards to Tai Chi, I intend to be one of the people who stay. I believe that Tai Chi offers long term health and martial art benefits. I finally feel like I am part of the group and not just the new student.