Wednesday, February 27, 2008


It seems like every year for the last couple of years I've been looking for a new place to teach.

From teaching several years at Pusod, I ended up at OACC, but after a year in the back studio, I got this itch. This feeling I needed to go somewhere else. The place was feeling small. So I found a nice large space down the street which was alot of fun, lots of space to do staff and triple sticks. But, alas, the space couldn't get their feet off the ground and I had to leave.

Each space we live in, where we work, where we regularly hang out presents lessons for us to learn. The walls that shape us, the energy that permeates. We've all been to places where we walked in and just felt something was not right. The place we lived in, in college, is not the place we need to be in now. The hardest thing is for people to make the move, to admit that's it's time to go, time to go someplace else because it's scary, it's hard, it's work.

In the meantime, I've bounced my class to several different places, from my low ceiling rec room to a small room, back to OACC. It's OK being back at OACC, but I know, I know I can't stay. The interesting thing is that each space I've taught at has given me different lessons, showed me different things. And each time I've moved the own martial arts training has moved in different ways. Each place gives you opportunities, each place gives you challenges.

Yesterday, I checked out a space. I would have to move the class to another day, but it was big with mats, and equipment. Next week I will see another space that's probably narrower and smaller, but on the regular night I teach. And I can see that it's more than just the numbers, I'm much more sensitive to the energy of a space than before, both of the shape and of the people who use that space. It's no surprise why similar people congregate in the same place, they are attracted to it.

And as I go and visit various locations, I've been trying to imagine the different challenges and opportunities of the spaces. Do I choose a place that's good/ok or do I look for the place that feels right. I think my choices before have mostly been by necessity and experimentation, but now I feel like I'm at a point where I can hang out for a bit and be patient. Wait to see if a really good space comes along. Because in the end it's not simply a choice of where I want to be but also a choice of where I want to go.

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