It's been almost three months since I decided to settle down and chose Wado Ryu as my new Martial Art and it's taken those three months for me to start to feel like a karate-ka again. There are some things that haven't left me during my twenty year hiatus; I stand like a Martial Artist, I sit and kneel like one, hell I even dance like one (every disco is a dojo and you know you do that kata dancing like Elvis too!) but that feeling that you belong takes longer to return.
I'm still a bit of an odd one out at the moment - I don't want to be the black belt that doesn't know the kata or basic kihon patterns and I can get frustrated that I'm not as fit and agile as I'd like to be. Everyone at the dojo is helpful and supportive but I don't feel I'm moving forward as fast as I'd like. I'm still making basic errors which are driving me nuts. Snap me in two like a stick of blackpool rock and you'll find two words written through me; Impatient and Competitive and only having the time to train once a week (and a couple of hours of kata in the kitchen when everyone else is out) is not reaping the rewards I want to see.
It's tough to be reminded that there are no short-cuts, especially when I've been the first to slag off clubs that do take them. Nonetheless there is part of me that envies my son, (that's him on the right) who recently started karate and is a pretty good 9th kyu, winning the 'best newcomer' award in his first tournament. He really wants that next belt and that plastic trophy, and part of me does too.
With Christmas coming there will be a forced break in training and I need to build up the momentum to return as a patient learner who wants to perfect the Wado way.
Because deep down what I really want is to be really bloody good at it.