Opening the Dojang

I started Martial Arts much later than most but, at 34, I felt undaunted – I always wanted to learn and I’d never have known unless I tried.  A woman in my class started her training at 45 and was working on her second degree when we met – that alone helped to reassure me that my “hell with it, I’m going to start!” was still a good idea.  I always encourage others who express interest to absolutely do so – regardless of age!  You can always modify movements, or find a class that will work for you – but it is truly never too late to start.

My Grandmaster entrusted me with a key early on, recognizing my habit of getting in before class to stretch, warm up, and clean the Dojang.  The latter part was something I always felt was important – Martial Artist or not, the Grandmaster certainly shouldn’t be doing it, and it was my way of quietly contributing to the community.  

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That hour or so before class is kind of like my bit of peace for the day – it allows me to get into a zone, and specifically devote time to getting limber – over the years I have done that less, and it IS a use-it-or-lose-it deal with flexibility.  Skating six to seven times a week, in addition to dancing at least twice, as well as school sports, meant very little time to tighten up.  Fast forward many moons…HAVE to make it a habit or it isn’t going to happen!

I enjoy the time alone and feel incredibly blessed to be able to be in the Dojang when it is also at rest.  There isn’t any noise to distract, save for the nearly silent buzzing of the lights, or the cars going by outside… 

Whatever your little sanctuary is…or wherever you can catch a few moments of peace in your day…embrace it.  

Embrace that time.  

Feel the physical sensations of your body when you are relaxed.  

Life is so hectic these days – remember those moments of inner rest, because just by tapping into the memory, you can evoke a sense of much needed calm.  Kind of like you have your own little Donjang to pop into for a few minutes…even in a crowded street.

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