Friday, 20 November 2015


So, after my recent karate related vacillations I'm back in karateka mode. I've managed to get a good couple of weeks of consistent (twice a week) training in. I'm slowly picking back up all the little things I thought I'd forgotten.

We've been working through higher level kyu kata and 1st Dan kata indepth (which has been great for me to really nail those back down) and we're about to begin on 2nd Dan kata next week.

I have a copy of my 2nd Dan syllabus (nothing I wasn't expecting in there that needs to be covered) so I can start focusing on the parts that involve me having to present and/or bunkai syllabus elements.

I feel my karate mojo slowly returning.

It feels good.

I think I like it.

Happy days.


Monday, 10 August 2015

Knowing When to Cut and Run?

Words to describe my karate journey of late (like the last 2 years late).

I feel like I've lost the thread that kept me focused on what I loved about karate and I can't seem to grab the end back. I have a few weeks where I'm back at things and seem to be getting a grip on it again and then I'm back to square one of feeling lost, unsure and ungrounded about the whole thing.

I'm working hard at the moment, mentally, to try and unpick what's going on. Family trauma's aside, the past few years, what is it that's made something I loved with such passion something that has me confused and unsure?

There are changes to me, that's for certain. My priorities about my time and what I do and have to do have changed with changes to work and the kids getting older and the arrival of the gigantapuppies.  Physical changes within myself - I'm not getting any younger. My knees are not getting any less knackered. My back is not getting any less decrepit!

There are also club changes that have occurred while I've been sporadic in my attendance. It's inevitable I suppose when a club starts to grow past a certain size that politics will start to play a part. When the club is big enough for politics, but not so big that the politics can be impersonal then it can have a big impact. It brings with it an element of negativity that I've never seen before, which makes me uncomfortable. It impacts on my desire to be there. Even with deliberate non-involvement it impacts on my training, on my thoughts about training, on my experiences there.

These things make me harp back to an earlier time. When I could see my reasons for being there. They were clear to me. My goal was clear to me. My learning was clear to me (even if I didn't always feel it was going in the right direction). Clarity brought (mental) comfort and a sense of belonging. I feel apart from things,  but I know that a huge part of that is of my own doing.

I don't know if I can see a "forward" from where I am at the moment. I know things cannot go back. It's a futile exercise in life to expect otherwise, but I'm asking myself if I cannot go forward, or backwards then does that mean it is time to stop trying to go anywhere but sideways? Does there need to be a step away. A real one. A cut and run. Am I ready for that? Part of me says no, but what is that part holding on for? If it's the wrong reasons then holding on is the wrong choice.

Am I making this more complicated than it need to be?

Who decided life choices were supposed to be so hard on the brain?

Off to mull things over more.


Don't feel like I know myself at all when it comes to this question at the moment.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Dropping The Plates

How many "hats" do you wear in life? How many plates do you spin?

For the majority of us, it's a lot.

Money Manager


For me, the last one always seems to me the plate that has to be allowed to fall. To keep my sanity I sometimes can't keep all those plates a-spinning.

When something has got to give, it's easy to let the karate training plate fall, for a number of reasons:

- It takes up big chunks of time out of the house at fixed times
- It needs lots of logistically planning to fit it around other people's schedules
- As its something I do for only me it feels selfish to prioritise it
- It requires motivation (harder to come by than hen's teeth I think)
- It requires energy (the first thing to go when the plate spinning gets overwhelming)
- It involves social communication with other people (something I struggle with greatly. I do not find it easy to work and play with others!)
- If I do have "free time" it's easier to fill it with more sedate things. Reading, crafting, watching TV for example

Of course there is a flip side to this. The positive things that I get out of it when I do keep that karate plate spinning:

- the fact that I eat better when I'm exercising
- that despite the lack of energy I have when I'm overwhelmed getting back into training ultimately gives me more energy
- that when I get there I realise I do miss seeing my fellow karateka
- that it provides me with moments of peace away from the hubbub of everything else
- that as far as "me time" goes it is usually time well spent
- that it improves my physical fitness (I work at the top of the building, 6 flights of stairs is a long way when your fitness level is in the toilet!)

The worry is, at least one of the plates have to give. I cannot spin them all. I guess I need to take a close look at which other one can be made still if I'm going to set the karate plate back on its journey again.


© Cookie Family Karate
Maira Gall