Shihan always tries to cancel class on the holidays, but half of the time some students want to meet at the dojo to train anyway. I don’t think everyone realizes that he actually wants us to take time off, which is one of the reasons he canceled class in the first place. Shihan recently told Joe a story about how back in the day he would be thinking about a technique or theory, and he would be so obsessed that he would wake his wife up in the middle of the night to help him work on it. Sometimes he would even make her put on a gi. Now reflecting back on it, his advice to Joe was “Don’t do that, that’s crazy!”.
Joe and I did get into a grip-fighting contest (which I won ;) over a garbage bag while we were at a family party on Christmas Eve, but otherwise our holiday was free of martial arts. Since we have a home mat and an available partner, we can train any time we want, but it’s good for our relationship, and each of us individually, to not always be focused on it.
I received a new Judo gi as a gift from Joe (since my old one is shredded), and we also gave a gi to our four year-old grandson, so it’s obvious that martial arts are a big part of our lives. Not a day goes by that Joe and I don’t discuss our training in some form or another, but we try to not overdo it. I think both of us realized a long time ago that if we were to ever wake the other one up in the middle of the night to help us work on something, we’ve gone too far. If Joe tried to wake me up to train, I’d be like “Who you trying to get crazy with, ese? Don’t you know I’m loca?”.
I think you have to be at least a little bit crazy to train martial arts in the first place. I understand the obsession, so it’s not surprising to me that the some students have such a hard time taking a break, but a couple of days off never killed anyone. I can’t stand it when I can’t train because of an injury, but I realize that sometimes it’s necessary. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it gives the mind, body, and spirit time to rest.
Winding up somewhere, one step ahead or behind
It ain’t been so easy, but I guess I shouldn’t complain
I’ve always been crazy, but it’s kept me from going insane.”