Monday, June 14, 2010

Hobbies Outside of the Martial Arts

I have been involved in the martial arts for over 17 years. I run a dojo that has 8 classes per week and I do some of my own training in addition to teaching. Martial arts has become a big part of my life. That being said, I've come to discover that I need to have hobbies outside of the martial arts to give my life balance.

I believe that people need both a mental and physical break from the martial arts in order to get the most from their training. They need hobbies that are fun that allow them to enjoy time with their friends and families. These other hobbies can give students perspective about their training, allowing them to step onto the mats with a clear and receptive mind and body.

Lately, I had discovered that my own balance was out of whack. I was starting to feel a dip in my energy and enthusiasm when it came to the martial arts. It wasn't like I was thinking about giving it up or anything. I think it was that I had been so focused in the preparation for my Yondan that I hadn't had enough of a life outside the martial arts to balance things out.

After achieving my Yondan, I looked into finding a hobby I can do with my fiancé that is outside of the realm of martial arts. We have decided to take up fencing at a club that operates right around the block from the dojo, Dynamo Fencing in Richmond BC. I used to do fencing back in high school and university. It was a fun activity that was both physical and social. Though some of you might think of it as being a martial art, it really is more of a sport with only a very loose connection to its martial origins.

Other than that, I have a few seasonal interests that I pursue, including downhill skiing, climbing (indoor & outdoor), and camping. I also do yoga in the mornings, and I both read and write for pleasure.

Since I've started to restore balance, I've found myself happier overall with my life and have renewed my energy and enthusiasm in my martial arts training and teaching.

How about you? I would love to hear what sorts of things other dedicated martial artists do with their lives to maintain balance. Please post your comments! :)