Many, many years ago, I was privileged to train with a knife instructor by the name of Tom Sotis.* He was a frequent guest instructor at our home dojo, coming in 3-4 times annually to show us the finer points of his system, one based heavily (but not entirely) on the Filipino art of Kali.
Sotis was and is the real deal, and many of his observations, truisms, and training methods have stuck with me over the years, even when I couldn't train regularly.
Unfortunately, personal circumstances have once again kept me out of the dojo for an extended period. But one of Sotis' earliest and strongest lessons was "It's my job to teach you. It's your job to train you."
Being kept out of the dojo just means I'm not able to learn. I still have a wealth of material I can train. And there's always conditioning.
I've mentioned before how I'm working to rehab bad knees. That continues, and as of this writing, my personal best on the back squat is 75 lbs for 10 sets of 5 reps each.
Yeah, yeah, I know... I'm still moving sissy weights. But I'm also a guy with a blown ACL, who couldn't do one single, bodyweight squat 18 months ago. From where I started, this is practically a different world.
Incidentally, I woke up sore from last night's weight training session, so I did a day of active recovery with some heavy bag work, calisthenics, Kali forms, and Kali solo drills. All performed both orthodox and southpaw, a habit which stems from another of Sotis' truisms: "If you don't know a technique both left and right handed, you don't know it."
Learning can go on pause. But training doesn't stop unless you say it does.
*Incidentally, Tom Sotis still actively teaches in the Holdbook, MA, area. If you're local, and at all interested in knife-base combatives, seek him out. He also has a book available on Amazon.
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