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For personal reasons, this seems a good time to take stock. I have not written as much as I have wanted so far this year. Being busy in other aspects of my life has been part of the issue. The other part has been an increased sense of self-importance. Rather than simply writing what is on my mind, I have been searching for more “serious” things to discuss. Combine the lack of time and the resistance to simply writing (I really should take my own advice – see my recent book review) and you have a classic case of writer’s block.

But, today is my birthday, and it seems as good a time as any to shake off the cobwebs and get back into the swing of things. My solo training has been consistent, if not inspired, but I got a great shot in the arm this past weekend. I spent time with some of my mentors and have returned with new material, and new ideas to apply to older material. They have given me a lot to work on which seems to be just what I needed.

All of this has been a reminder that it is only human for our level of dedication to ebb and flow at times. One of the main purposes of this blog has always been to throw out ideas to help others smash through resistance and find the inspiration to train. If the bulk of your training is alone, it is sometimes easy to forget how motivating time training with others can be. I still believe that the keys to achieving greatness in martial arts lie in the time we train by ourselves but, there is no discounting how much good instruction and good comradery can do to keep us on the path.

If your own training has been slower during these winter months, I encourage you to find a class, a seminar, a tournament, anything that puts you in contact with other people and new ideas. You may well return with new material to work on and new ideas to apply. You also may come away with questions about why you do things a certain way; questions that can only be answered through focused training. If you attend a regular class, you may want to pay more attention to individuals in the group that are not usually who you work with. Even if they are lower in rank, or more inexperienced, time spent with these people will almost certainly “show” you things that you can apply in your own training. Everyone really does have something to teach.

As for me, I am looking forward to training more and writing more. The two are not necessarily connected but I can now see that they do both feed off each other. Ideas spark action and action sparks even more ideas.

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