Hello classmates, it has been a while.
I earned my Yellow belt sometime before the pandemic began and I have failed to come back consistently since.
This time away forced me to reflect on how things were, how they are now, and how I want to proceed with training. This post is also my first real attempt at coming back as a useful training partner to you all.
There is a grey area with time off. It’s not good, but it’s also not all bad.
First and foremost, I feel less dangerous — this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m less physically capable than I was while training, but not practicing skills frequently brings fear.
I was a college athlete. I trained at my craft everyday. Hours upon hours of tedious physical and mental preparation. I was showing up ready for a battle on game day and I still failed often, despite everything I put in; that’s life/competition. Today however, I am ignoring training, letting skills dissipate, and then hoping I will be able to protect myself in a fight; that’s frightening. I know what it takes to be successful when you must depend on your body and mind, yet I am doing the opposite. My brain, experience, and upbringing are yelling: Stay Dangerous!
Secondly, I saw my classmates continue to grow and get their Orange, Green and Blue belts. Envy is not the word I want to use, but I’m competitive, I know I’d have a new belt right alongside them if I just kept going to class. No hate at all though, congrats to you all and well deserved.
That being said, here are the positives… and I am proud of these.
With my available time and a couple extra dollars I was able to improve in other areas I neglected:
- I got a new job. Same industry, but it’s the first place I feel like I could grow and have legitimate career.
- I found a therapist and started taking a look at my mental-health and trauma. I am not using that word lightly, there’s some demons I could not face for a long time and I’m working through it as best I can with the tools I have.
- I engaged new hobbies that would make the 5 year old Nathan very proud (drumming, skateboarding, snowboarding).
- I started taking better care of my finances, with budgets and investments.
- I returned to the gym, working with a professional to achieve my goals.
- I applied for an entry visa. This is a long, embarrassing, and expensive process, but I was finally able to return to the USA and experience some lost freedom.
- I also fell in love with an amazing woman.
I need self-defence practice. I think it’s a crucial skill-set for myself and those around me. I don’t train to hurt people, I just want more knowledge about combat, techniques, and awareness for when shit pops off. I have spent equal parts of my life up to no good and minding my own business – dangerous conflicts will come for everyone. Don’t be scared, but don’t be oblivious.
I really fell in love with what we’re learning at UTKM, and even though I am not happy with my progress I understand I can get back to where I should be with the re-direction of priorities. It’s a manageable problem to have, so I won’t panic yet.
I’ll see you in class.
Written by: Nathan Parade de la Feraude – UTKM Yellow Belt
Check out Episode 89 of Warriors Den Podcast to learn more about the author.
For training online visit www.utkmu.com. If you are in the Metro Vancouver area, come learn with us in person, sign up at www.urbantacticskm.com or check out our merch at www.utkmshop.com