State of the Union

10/4/2012

This is an interesting time period for me: After a year of operating my classes out of a 1300 sqft space in Pomona, I have moved my classes back into my garage in Chino Hills. I have also cut my teaching time down from 12 hours a week to 4 hours a week.

The downside is that we are a little cramped. The upside is that the nice equipment from the larger space is now in the garage. We also have a Wing Chun dummy now. The other upside is that I actually have some time to focus on my own training. During the average week, I try to train with Guro Inosanto for at least 1 evening of 3 to 4 hours of class. Then I teach for 4 hours on Wednesdays. Later in the week, I take a private lesson with a local FMA instructor, and afterwards, I immediately drive into the Inland Empire later in the evening to study 2 blade systems with another local FMA instructor.

I am attempting to squeeze in the 8 arts making up both my FMA blend and my empty handed blend during the 4 hour classes on Wednesdays. When I describe my training to many people, they are shocked that I continue to take classes, both in arts in which I am already certified as an instructor, and in systems in which I am not.

In the system of FMA’s in which I take private lessons, my instructor has already authorized me to start introducing the basics of his system to my students, even though I am not a representative instructor in that system. My other instructor in the 2 blade systems knows I aspire to instructorship in those styles as well. Since they are both highly in-demand blade systems, I have signed a form promising to not teach any of those systems in any group setting.

The point of this is not to collect instructorship/rank in as many systems as possible, but to create a never ending cycle of learning and passing on knowledge to my students. That is what has been modeled for me and that is what I attempt to model for those I teach.

While I am sad the Pomona facility did not work out, I have a DVD in the works, and my small group of core students is making great progress. Despite my vision of a large school being put on hold, I am excited to see where martial arts and my great, growing group of student take me. I also get to be a student again every week, which I really enjoy. Not exactly where I thought I would be at this time, but certainly exciting regardless. Stay tuned.

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