As you know by now I train at our Shotokan dojo. That is on Mondays and Wednesdays. I have kickboxing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This has led to Saturdays being put aside to do the type of training I like and enjoy. Saturdays are Wenhsiuquan days.
I have come to accept that you have no control over what martial arts schools you will find in your area. For a lot this is not a problem, because they have no idea what variations of martial arts training exist in the world when they sign up, but with me it has become an issue when I realised that things like spinning kicks and meditation were things that I had to learn by myself, because my school did not offer that.
Now- when I joined my new Shotokan dojo I knew for certain that they would be able to help me get back my poise and polish my technique. The way I was going started to worry me and in time, because overemphasis on power had led to a lot of my techniques being telegraphed.
Still, though- I do not feel comfortable sparring without being allowed to use hook punches, simply because it is not natural to not hook when the situation calls for it. Likewise- I like to duck punches to the face.
Fortunately my Sensei understands this well enough and I am glad to say- he has an open mind. Explanations of kihon often contain "this is how we do it" as an acknowledgement that it is not the only way, but when in Rome.
In the same manner I make sure that I practice self defense in my own time as well since our style is mainly sports orientated.
Self fulfilment is something that does not get handed to you. Not in the dojo. Not outside. Still- it is something worth pursuing and it is attainable. Only you really know who and what you want to be. Only you know what you want to learn.
How many of you are teaching / studying exactly the martial arts that interest you? I'd like to hear from you-especially those guys/ girls practicing some obscure Chinese style that no one has even seen in the media.