Recently while discussing with members about their plans for the holiday weekend, one of the members stated that he was going to Washington D.C for a week.
He was working on Short Form 2 for class. He had been struggling with memorization of the form for months. He got an opportunity to have a Sr. Rank work exclusively with him and he performed the form at the end quite well. I mentioned that he did a good job but I was worried that he wasn’t going to be able to remember the form by his next class because he wouldn’t have time to work on it. Then it dawned on me and I excitedly shared with him the incredible opportunity he had to set “history” for Attitude First.
I started naming all the places he needed to do Short Form 2; Washington Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Institute, etc. I even went so far as to try and convince him that if he were to tour the White House that he should ask if he could perform the form in the Oval Office.
Yes, it is sort of a farce… who would do that, right? However, let’s really think about this experience. I have been inspired by several of my instructors to “practice” the Martial Arts creatively. Once my instructor persuaded me and another fellow student to practice our form in the fountain at a local city mall. Yes, we had to hustle as security came and asked us to “kindly step out of the fountain.” I wouldn’t recommend breaking any laws and in this case luckily no harm was done. However, for me it was a “moment.” I will never forget the opportunity to actually connect to the form. To make it a part of me. To have a memory of the form that will never be forgotten, helps to insure the form is not forgotten.
I can luckily say I have trained in several unique areas; bottom of the Grand Canyon, beaches of Hawaii, mountains and streams of Colorado, rivers, lakes, shopping malls, etc. Each opportunity allowing me to connect with my art in a very personal aspect. One that training on the mat or at home (common settings) simply doesn’t offer. Please note: I’m in no way advocating to NOT train on the mat or at home. The familiarity of these environments offer a safe and controlled environment, free from distractions, which allow you to fully investigate and concentrate on your training.
So while writing this article it sort of dawns on me the value of both. Familiar training environments offer safe and concentrated opportunities. Unfamiliar environments (events) offer a lasting memory that helps to establish a personal connection to the exercise.
Can you imagine the memories and the unbelievable opportunity that this member will have if he has the courage to train in these historical settings? Again, I think he would make history at least for Attitude First to be the only member to train Short Form 2 in such a unique setting.
With that said, team here’s the challenge where and when can you find some unique settings to train and connect to your art that will create a lasting personal memory?