God help me. I've started doing Kung Fu again.
tl;dr version: TheMightyMcClaw got really lazy about training, and then started doing kung fu.
First, some exposition.
Since I moved back from Seattle to Michigan in September, I had been doing remarkably little training. I would do some weightlifting now and then, and occasionally pop in to one of my old MMA gyms, but this would be intermittent at best.
Partially this was due to a change of focus, with most all of my energies being directed into developing my business and personal relationships, the two things that had been most sharply inadequate from my life in Seattle (good news: both of those things are now going wonderfully). Partially it had been a desire for rest after the outlandishly physically intensive lifestyle I had living in the Northwest. Partially, perhaps, it was finding other grappling clubs pale in the lustrous shadow of Sea-Town Sambo.
About a month ago, I moved back to the city of my formation, Ann Arbor. A friend of mine told me he had gotten involved with the SCA, which I had been a part of for about two months six years ago. Feeling that mayhaps a change of pace would break my fighting funk, I decided to go back and join him for a practice.
(note: this was fencing. Not heavy fighting. No sticks.)
This turned out to be a good move; I had forgotten just how motherfucking enjoyable fencing is. What more, running around with a sword in my hand gave me a pang of nostalgia for my old abusive girlfriend, Kung Fu.
In my youth, I had been into Chinese martial arts in a big way. I was into martial arts, and I was into Chinese (my major at U of M), so it seemed a natural convergence. Sadly, this was shattered by repeated encounters with inept instructors, bullshit, and personality cults, that finally made me throw my hands into the air and say "**** it. I'm dating jiujitsu now."
Now, bear in mind; in addition to the overall horrible quality of CMA, there is the more specific horrible quality of martial arts in Ann Arbor. This town seems to boast an improbable number of bullshit artists, con men, and cult leaders for such a small city. Thus, I was doubly worried to type the words "ann arbor kung fu" into google.
I did, however, find one website that seemed inoffensive, and emailed the instructor. I told him I was really only interested in learning weaponry (btw: I am really only interested in learning weaponry), and asked a bit about him. He seemed like a level headed fellow, and turned out to be an associate of one of my colleagues in the SCA.
Anyways, I finally headed down to check his class out today. It proved to be, as I had hoped against hope, that he was indeed on the level; he believed in live training, didn't buy into folklore and pop culture as history, spoke Chinese, all that jazz. He was most accommodating of my interest in learning play at arms over boxing, as he himself is also mainly a weapons guy (hence, his association with the SCA).
So the good news is, I've started training again. The bad news is, I've somehow gone from Sambo and MMA to swordfighting and Kung Fu.