Yeah, yeah. I know. It's been, what? Oh, jeez, OVER A YEAR since I last wrote in this blog. I guess I owe my massive horde of fans (both of you) an apology. I had many points over the past year when I was ready to write an entry here, but for whatever reason the inspiration fled and that was that.
Then back in April I was going to begin writing about the run up to my Ee Dan/Kyo Sa testing (scheduled for May 29th), but life intervened again, thjis time is a more pointed and brutal fashion. The sudden death of my oldest, dearest friend Gregory at the end of April. This event led directly to the easiest (if most frustrating) choice I've ever had to make: attending his memorial service or attending my dan classing and Kyo Sa test. Obviously, I chose to attend the memorial.
And, as a result, here I am, November 2011, 8 days out from my Ee Dan and Kyo Sa test. Six months later than planned, but as the Song of the Sip Sam Seh says, "surprising things will happen when you meet your opponent." Sometimes your opponent is life. Surprise!
So, anyway, it's been a rough, rough year on our end. In addition to losing Gregory we have all too many friends battling illnesses (Cancer! It's the new black!) and losing loved ones and family members (sometimes they're the same thing) of their own as we stand there and wish we could do something to help, knowing there's nothing. Distant relations committing suicide. Friends with deeply troubled kids suffering under the strain. Other "friends" revealing themselves to be anything but the people we took them to be. And work. Work work work.
You name it. 2011 has sucked. Hard.
Through this all, the dojang and my dojang family have been there, and I can't express the gratitude I feel for this. Well, I *can* express it, but I tend to get all weepy and "I love you man!" when I do, so it's kind of embarrassing for all involved. But you get the idea. The dojang and Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan continue to be a source of peace, a place to go when things are great, and a place to turn when things are awful. I am incredibly fortunate to have this art, and these people, in my life.
As with all of my previous testing, the Ee Dan (second degree black belt) and Kyo Sa (certified instructor) tests include essays. I have written 4, which I will be publishing in additional blog entries following this one. I hope their content is helpful to my brothers and sisters in the martial arts. And if they're not helpful, I hope you'll at least find them entertaining.