Tag Archives: martial arts

A Rambly Random Wednesday

I’m feeling rather random-ly today, so of course, it means another post of random stuff! Here are the random things that have been delighting me:

Dream analysis. My older son has been getting university acceptances and a few scholarship offers, as well as several phone calls from the universities he’s applied to, so we’ve had lots of celebratory-feeling days around here.

Last night, I dreamed he cooked up a whole batch of bacon – it was crisp and perfectly done. I’ve never really been big on dream analysis, but this one just jumps out at me. Yes! He is going to be successful, bringing home the bacon!

A Clean Desk. I did it. I finally got around to cleaning up my desk. I took a picture, since it’s a rare event and I like to record things like this for future reference (and to remind a certain husband that I can occasionally be tidy).

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And this should give you an idea how I did it – I call it the “everything-in-the-box” method (note: patent pending).

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Writing. I started my first readthrough of my WIP, NANTUCKET, last night and I’m very happy to say that this readthrough is going so much better than the readthrough I did of my NaNoWriMo novel last month. No, it’s not perfect, but there’s stuff I can work on, and the story (so far) is shaping up quite well. (Please feel free to cheer …)

Reading. I finished The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern and have one burning question (don’t worry, not a spoiler):

Did Rosaleen know about the book, or not? If you’ve read the book and have more of a clue about this than I do, please let me know!

Lust Speaking of Husbands. As most of you know, my husband is a martial arts teacher. Now that we have a little dojo in our home, he holds the occasional private class here.

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What this means is that I’m now getting to see him in his black belt uniform again (I hadn’t seen him in his dogi for quite a while, because I rarely make it out to dojo functions these days).

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I’d forgotten I have a tendency to swoon when I see him in his karate dogi. Oddly enough, it’s not the same for me when he’s wearing his aikido uniform or his jodo uniform.

I guess it’s a good thing to be swooning over one’s own husband.

Blog Stuff. I’m hoping to be able to start working on a new look for Ms. Bookish next week, so if you see funny things happening around here, you’ll know why. The dilemma right now is picking a new template. There are just so many – it’s tough to choose just one. I guess it would be too confusing to use several at once!

Exercise. I’ve decided exercise is no longer going to be a dreaded word for me. It helps that I found a picture of me taken not so long ago where I looked decidedly more svelte than I do now. The reminder that it wasn’t that long ago was a good one.

So, treadmill, you and I are going to begin our love affair, starting today tomorrow Friday. I promise!

That’s my random stuff for today. Every now and then, I love a day of random. What random stuff have you been delighting in recently?

Me and Social Media Marketing

Sounds like a song, doesn’t it?

So, with my, uh, vast knowledge of social media, I appear to have been promoted to the role of Social Media Marketing Director for my husband’s martial arts dojo.

(Fine. I did promote myself, but someone had to.)

One of our intentions, in light of recent changes we’ve decided on, is to begin rebuilding the dojo; to do this, we’ll be working to build up the sense of community spirit that has been missing at the dojo for the past few years. We live in suburbia, in a true “bedroom community”, so a sense of community isn’t always such an easy thing. People are often too tired after all their commuting to indulge in community spirit.

Anyway, whenever I think of “community”, my thoughts always turn online. I thought, well, why not put to good use all the things I already know (and have fun with daily), like blogging and Twitter and Facebook?

So I’ve been busy. And now – ta da! I present to you the fruit of my labors (all performed yesterday, some of it in the interests of procrastination. Today I’m going to write. Really. I promise.)

The new dojo blog. I decided to opt for a WordPress.com blog instead of a self-hosted one because the server my husband’s using for the dojo’s website requires extreme technical prowess to install a blog. I don’t have anything even approaching technical prowess. I like to use a nice little something called Fantastico that works like magic a la presto. But it’s not something the dojo’s webhost offers.

So WordPress.com it is. Also, the tags in a post show up at WordPress.com’s tag pages, and perhaps people interested in the martial arts we specialize in might find us that way. Don’t want to waste any opportunities, right?

(I must say, though, that a blog on WordPress.com is very limiting design-wise, when compared to a self-hosted blog, or even a blog on Blogger or Typepad. This seems to be so even if you choose to upgrade to the premium option. On the other hand, there are some nice little widgets and bits of shortcode – creating a contact form, for example, was a breeze.)

Renseikan is live on Twitter! We’ll be tweeting about martial arts stuff, so if you’re interested in karate, aikido or jodo, please do join us @renseikan. We’re looking mighty sparse right now in terms of followers …

And the pièce de résistance: the Renseikan Fan Page on Facebook! This one took me a while, because I didn’t have a clue how to set up a fan page on Facebook; it even took me a while to figure out how to upload a profile pic. But I did it! (I still actually don’t have a clue exactly how I did it – it took a fair bit of bumbling around and holding my breath.) I’m not too sure exactly what we’ll be posting to the fan page, though, not being one to join many fan pages myself (I think I’m following two, both of them fan pages of friends).

There are other bits of marketing we have to do, including a promotional flyer for physical distribution in the new neighborhood the dojo will be in. But one of our students is a real marketing whiz, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can get him to write up some dazzling and hypnotic copy for us.

But in terms of the social media side of things, I can’t think of anything else right now. Any suggestions? Have I missed out on anything? And if you’re interested in the martial arts (you all are, right? Right? It’s okay to fib to me and nod your head vaguely), what kinds of things would you like to see being tweeted/blogged/Facebooked?

The Courage to Change

Recently my husband made a decision that seemed very practical to me; practical, and in my opinion, long overdue.

As a martial arts instructor, his passion has always been in teaching people to be the best that they can be, and so he’s never cared about the number of people he’s training, only about how well he’s teaching them. But we have always run the dojo in huge leased locations, and our large overhead has always demanded a different, more commercial approach, one he’s never been willing to take.

Last month, he made the difficult decision to go from our leased premises, to a single large room we’ll be renting for specific hours of the week. It’s a space from which we will be able to grow the dojo again, but in a way that makes more business sense.

As his partner in business, I gave an audible sigh of relief, because this portion of our business has, from its very inception, been the proverbial money pit.

As his partner in life, though, I didn’t have a clue how much courage this decision required of him. Not until afterward did I realize how brave my husband is to do what he’s done.

To me, this decision seemed a very practical one. What we’d been doing simply wasn’t working; it wasn’t working in a way that had quite a large financial impact on us. It seemed to me nothing much would change for his students. The quality of instruction would remain the same; only the space itself would be different. Wasn’t it, after all, the actual teaching that mattered?

Maybe, maybe not. In six weeks’ time, as we make the transition, we will find out.

I know now the courage it took for him to do this. After he announced the news to his students, he was drained, physically and mentally, for two days.

For the past decade, he’s given his students not only the best of himself, but also the best physical space in which to train – something he could ill-afford, but he did it anyway.

I’ve always felt that in the martial arts, it’s the teacher who makes the difference. Unlike an endeavor that requires special equipment, where the type of equipment you have the use of makes as much difference as the quality of the teacher, with the martial arts, it’s all about the teacher.

But perhaps not everyone feels this way.

And so I am seeing, so very clearly, how brave my husband is. How much courage it took for him to make what to me seemed like a simple, practical and well-justified business decision, a step that any professional advisor would have recommended he take.

And I have this to say: I admire his courage, his bravery, so very much.

I believe in you, with my whole heart and soul.

My husband is one of the best martial arts teachers around. And it seems to me, when the teaching is at the core of a martial arts dojo, it doesn’t really matter where the dojo is, because the dojo isn’t any physical location.

The dojo is the teacher; the teacher is the dojo.