I hope you like the new blog platforms that we have. Much more ‘blog like’ don’t you think? You may have already surmised but I am the new Blog Editor as well as a blogger for Martial News. This means that I am managing and editing all the blogs that we host so if you want to give any feedback on our new look then please send it to me on the e-mail at the bottom of this post.
A few things to point out about our new blogs: you can now leave comments at the bottom of each post. We would really welcome your feedback on what we have to say but please observe our comments policy which is written above the dialogue box on the comment’s page. You can also link easily from one blog to another by using the blog list in the left hand column – you will notice that all of our blogs are listed on all of the other blogs, so it is easy to navigate between them. Each blog also has an internal search engine so that you can search the blog to see if a particular topic has been written about. The big red HOME button will link you back to the main Martial News home page so it’s always easy to get back to where you started. Finally, if you are a regular reader of our blogs why not sign up as a follower?
The new blog platforms are not the only new beginning; you’ve probably noticed that my blog title has also changed from ‘Student Eye’ to ‘Black Belt Adventure’. Why? Well, it’s probably obvious but I’ve now attained my black belt!
Holding the rank of 1st Dan also feels like a new beginning to me. Well everybody likes to tell me that black belt is where it all really begins. I suppose it shouldn’t feel any different to be a new black belt than it did to be a 1st kyu, after all I don’t actually know any more than I did just before the grading but somehow it does feel different. I feel as if I’ve just spent four years walking along a narrow corridor and now I’ve just passed through a door and entered into a really big room. A room without walls.
The long walk through the corridor kept me focused on learning the skills and techniques of the karate system that I belong to. I occasionally glanced through windows to see what was going on outside my own dojo but I knew I had to stay true to my style until I had grasped the basics. Now that I have entered the large room….well, so much more is opening up to me. Freed from the shackles of regular gradings I feel liberated. There are just so many different things to learn out there. Though I intend to continue training within my existing system, improving and extending my skills, I feel that I now have time to look outside my dojo door into the big room and see what else is going on out there!
I’ve always enjoyed going to martial arts seminars and festivals, learning new things with new people but you get so much more out of these things once you’ve attained a basic level of skill within one system. You can more easily see the similarities and differences between different arts and relate things back to what you already know. You are better at deciding what works for you and what doesn’t, what compliments your existing skills and what detracts from them. Existing skills start to internalise, freeing up your brain to learn new skills more quickly – and remember them!
At the moment I feel like a kiddy in a sweet shop, not sure what to sample next. I’m looking forward to accessing training opportunities outside my system as well inside it and seeing how I can assimilate new knowledge and skills into the mix. The journey now is about working out which way I want to go next and planning how to get there. I am working hard towards my assistant instructor certificate as I would like to do some teaching within my club but I’m also interested in learning more about women’s’ self-defence training. It feels like I’m embarking on a big adventure – a Black Belt Adventure…..
Sue is the Blog-Editor-In-Chief for Martial News. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org Sue also writes a personal blog called My Journey to Black Belt