I have no news to share on the work or writing fronts, so my options for journal entries are: martial arts, cats, or food. Let’s stick with martial arts for a while, shall we?
Two weekends ago, I attended a black sash test at my martial arts school. Four students, all of whom have been studying at the school for 10 years or more, were invited to test for their black sash rank. (That’s the same as black belt — we just wear sashes instead of belts.) This was the first black sash test in the 3.5 years I’ve been at the school. As far as I know, there are only about 7-10 black sash-ranked individuals in our system.
I found the test really inspiring. So inspiring, that I actually attended class five nights in a row last week. And, despite my recent problems and injuries related to rolling, I’m more determined that ever to work hard and improve. I’m not doing it for a black sash; I’d be just as happy if we didn’t have ranks at all, like when I started at White Lotus. I’m doing it because I think I’ve been making too many excuses. I’ve been setting my bar at mediocre, instead of setting my bar at good or even great. Will I ever be a great martial artist? Probably not. But I’d rather fail at that, than succeed at being mediocre. :)
Here are two old videos I love to watch and rewatch. The first is Sifu Carrie performing the White Lotus sword and shield form. (Can you believe I’m lucky enough to study weapons, kung fu, *and* tai chi with this woman?!?)
This is an even older video of Grandmaster Wong performing a Nine-ring Broadsword form:
I’m sure martial arts will take a backseat in my life once again when I have work and writing obligations, but for now? I’m so grateful for it, and for my kung fu family.