Well, we're not even into December, yet, and the Christmas season seems to be in full-swing already. We are attending our first Christmas party of the year this coming Saturday, a dojang event that is combining the dojang Christmas party with both a "post-dan test party" and a "5 year-anniversary of the opening of our dojang" party all in one. I've agreed to handle the music and the video game setups for my friend Michelle, so I've just finshed up mixing about 4 hours of Christmas music. All sorts of stuff -- traditional, modern, cajun, rock, country, pops, comedy, you name it. And, of course, I've got a healthy sprinkling of movie and cartoon audio clips thrown in, just to break things up a bit.
Listening to hours of Xmas tunes, and it's not even December, yet. Sigh.
The party should be interesting. Kwan Jhang Nim Ferraro, the head of our Tang Soo Do organization, will be in town giving a red belt and dan clinic Saturday morning, prior to the dan test, and will also (I believe) be attending the party that evening. Given his presence, I imagine that the party will have a ... well, a vibe. Perhaps a bit more formal than most folks would expect, or even prefer. It's not that I think he necessarily walks around demanding strict adherence to traditional protocol or anything like that. I've met him ,briefly, a couple of times, and he seems like a friendly and relaxed sort fo fellow. But I imagine that the folks in our dojang realize that some attempts to maintain decorum, even in a non-dojang atmosphere, can only reflect well on Sa Bom Nim's Nunan and Reilly in Kwan Jhang Nim's eyes, so I hope that folks will try to do so. I know I will, at least to an extent. I figure I'll just act as thought I'm in the dojang training during the party.
Well, training, but with beers.
This protocol stuff can be tricky business. I've managed to figure out a protocol balance between how I behave with my superiors, peers, and juniors in the dojang vs. outside of it that I am comfortable with and which I feel shows proper respect. This was tricky, since I want to demonstrate the proper respect in the proper circumstances, but I also don't want to screw up my opportunities to become closer friends with folks at the dojang by overdoing it, either.
All the protocol is great for discipline and really does help get my mind more focused and receptive to training, but it also has a way of enforcing a certain amount of emotional distance between people that can have a sort of chilling effect on friendships, I think. And honestly, as much as I've grown to love my Tang Soo Do training, I'd have a real problem sticking with it if I felt that gaining martial arts skill had to come at the expense of personal relationships. So finding a middle ground where the yessir/nossir's could be dropped was important to me.
But of course, with Kwan Jhang Nim at the party the rules are a bit different. It's probably in everyone's best interest that we just stick to protocol as best as possible, if for no other reason than to generate a complimentary comment or two toward the guys in our martial arts lineage.
Oh well, that's it for now. Time to head for training in a bit.
Mood: A bit scatterbrained
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