10lbs of Muscle

I’m trying to add ten pounds of muscle in twelve weeks.

Let me clarify.

This week is the start of a new twelve-week cycle for me.  I break my year into twelve-week periods, during which I pursue specific(ish) training goals as well as personal goals, and set-up writing projects.  Stories, articles, and panels that I wrote during the summer will now get edited during the fall, and copyedited in the winter, to be released next spring.  It helps me keep things fresh, while also rotating out projects until they are completed.  It allows me to space out the stages of development on a project so I can see it with fresh eyes at every step, but not so far removed as I forget everything about it.

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The Meritocracy of Martial Arts

This weekend, I will be in DC for Katsucon!  I’ll be presenting a host of panels as part of the Japanese Cultural Institute, on topics from the Japanese-American Internment Camps in World War II to two introductory classes to martial arts (one for all ages and one geared more towards kids).

Preparing for those classes, I’ve been reminded of a longstanding and problematic point of contention in the martial arts, namely “why do you study [insert derided style du jour]?”.  This question is always asked after the revelation that a person studies an unpopular or denounced style.  In a post-UFC world, Tae Kwon Do and some traditional Karate styles are the usual candidates.  For me, it’s usually when I say that I study Iaido (a slightly obscure art, often connected to Aikido, studying the drawing of the katana).  People, especially those involved in armored combat, immediately remark with disdain and surprise.

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