Escrima Sticks and Journals

I was up late the other night and decided to take some pictures with my new escrima sticks.Tonight, I had my first little bit of instruction with them. We didn't  have much time left in class, but Mr. Mc showed me the first five strikes for me to work on this week. I'm really hoping that on Tuesday night one of the black belts will pick up where we left off tonight.


Speaking of escrima sticks, I was told to buy some gloves for when I start working with them in class to save my knuckles. I’m just not sure what kind of gloves to get at the moment. Obviously the foam sparring gloves won’t work. There’s an Academy Sports and a Wal-mart in town, but other than that, I would have to go online to actually have a good selection to choose from. Any recommendations about brand and kind? 


Do you ever have moments in your training when you wish you could remember a certain bit of information that your instructor told you about a technique, but for the life of you, you cannot remember what it was? What about trying to remember certain important events in your journey as a martial artist? I know that I usually say to myself: “I’ll remember exactly what went on in class." But a lot of times, I end up forgetting details or specific dates.

Back in early 2008, I picked up a journal that I was asked to keep for a class when I was about ten or eleven years old. That was also the time that I started in my first martial arts class. As I read, I found it fascinating what I had written about Tae Kwon Do. There were only about five entries about martial arts, but I loved reading those in particular. After I stopped writing in that one journal, I never really picked up the habit again.

As I closed the notebook and thought back to my earliest days of Tae Kwon Do, I realized that I had very few memories of those years. I couldn’t really remember much about what it was like just starting out as a new student, and I had no memory of how I felt about earning my first few belts.

That day I decided that I would start keeping a journal again. This time though, the only thing I decided to write in it would be my martial arts classes -- who was there, what we did, and what I learned. Things that I could look back on years later and really remember what class was like.

February 19th, 2008 was my first entry. I started out with a small journal that was about 150 pages long. It took me about a year and seven months to fill it up.

On September 10th, 2009, I began a second journal of about the same page length. It took me only around six months to fill it up. Going to class between two and three times a week really made a difference in how much I wrote and how fast I finished it.

Well, after seeing that the second journal only lasted me half a year, I decided to upgrade. My new journal (began March 9th, 2010) is a 400 page, college ruled, leather bound book.

I’ve found that I love journaling now. Writing about something that I am so passionate about is not only fun, but also has many benefits. When I look back at the troubles I was having with a particular form or idea, I can flip a few pages forward and see how I improved. It’s also great for keeping track of special events and accomplishments, and it allows me to see how far I’ve come.


Felicia said...

Believe it or not, I'm a writer (my profession) who actually HATED to journal. I use to keep a training log when I was competing in track and field (I literally have about 20 of them) that I wrote down my day's training, weights/reps, etc in EVERY DAY. I'm not competing anymore, but I still log my workouts in a notebook I take to the gym with me. Guess I'm just a creature of habit..

These days I have THREE journals: one for my lifting/running (read: off dojo days) workouts, one just for karate techniques and one for karate that I started when I officially became a black belt candidate and knew I needed to have a journey paper ready for the world (OK - our council's senior dans) to read on grading day. It has more of the emotional reactions to all I'm learning/taking in/absorbing as well as some Japanese vocabulary and stuff like that. It is by far the biggest book I've ever had (about 400 pages or so) - and my most favorite...

And about the gloves foe Escrima: I started Pekiti Tersia Kali about a year ago and we use HOCKEY GLOVES to train in as they protect the knuckles, wrists and backs of the hands. They have fingers (unlike sparring gear) and come up about halfway on the forearm so even the most errant of hits won't make you see stars. Ask your instructor about it...

Ikigai said...

Congrats on sticking with the journals. That's a long time you've been doing that.

Like felicia I am a writer by trade but never acquired the journal habit.

One of the reasons I first started my blog was that I desired to write about the martial arts but didn't feel like doing a journal. So I tricked myself and did an online journal...ish.


Ariel said...

Felicia -- Yes, I am definitely a creature of habit too. I take my journal everywhere, and I write in it (especially if I'm behind on entries) all the time. Wow, three journals? That's awesome. Mine is more of a personal log of the class with some emotional reactions, but not very in depth about techniques. I really should start one like that though. Thanks for the idea! Hockey gloves? Hm...I've checked Academy for those, and I could not find any for the life of me. I'll definitely ask my instructors about it though.

Matt -- Thanks! My blog is where I tend to get introspective about different issues and some of the things that go on in class, but my regular journal gives me a chance to vent some of my more private thoughts on things I don't want to share with the whole world. Both are completely different outlets, and I really enjoy doing both. Getting comments on my blog really keeps me going and lets me get others views though.

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