Martial Arts Journal
Every month we will post a new article on the Martial Arts covering a broad range of topics philosophy, training, fitness and history of the Martial Arts.
This is the first installment of one students journey at Way of the Crane.
The Idea... One day, as we drove up 55th street, my wife mentioned that she'd like to stop in at the dojo on our left. She'd attended a lunchtime class at "Way of the Crane" years ago, and remembered it as a very tough workout. The two of us have a bit of masochist in us, so we decided to pay a visit. A class of 6-12 year olds was yelling and playing with each other under the guidance of several instructors, but a woman with laughing eyes quickly noticed us and came to the side to speak with us. Within minutes, we had an invitation to participate in the adult beginner class that would start in another half hour. Now, I'm not uber-athletic, and certainly not very coordinated. Martial arts had always appealed to me, because I liked the idea of being able to defend myself (I travel often) and those who study them seem to have a certain confidence and peace with the world. However, a combination of hectic, varied schedules and lack of cash had always prevented my participation. Also, I didn't want a testosterone-filled, pay for your belts, absolutely authoritarian discipline towards the teacher attitude. (A friend of mine calls these prevalent schools McDojos). However, Sensei Melanie mowed down any hurdles I might have to training. Hectic, impossible schedule? Simple, just pay for 4 classes a month, available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays. Cash flow? I had paid $45 a month for the Boulder rec centers (to go maybe 4 times a month) for no expertise whatsoever (although the dojo is sadly lacking a hot tub). The 4x a month classes cost $80, and the prices went down the more classes you took. Sensei also mentioned that we could attend a few classes to try things out before we paid anything. What a deal! As for the dojo 'atmosphere', it was friendly, team-oriented, helpful, and yet also tough. There would be no paying for belts here, and the standards looked very high. Intrigued, my wife and I agreed to come back for a Thursday class, dressed in comfortable sweats and t-shirts.
Check back in two weeks for "The First Class"