My wife and I are coming to the end of a three month road trip. The future still looks uncertain, as I suspected it would.
I'm in Bend at the moment. There is more ballet here than martial arts. I don't know how to interpret that information.
For those following our trip spatially, after leaving Hamilton Montana we travelled up to Glacier National Park, which is very cool. We could have spent a month there I think, perhaps on a future trip. On the way out we visited the Miracle of America Museum on my sister's recommendation (she is a museum-ologist). It is an amazingly weird place, there is a whole room dedicated to old chain saws, there are old fighter jets and missile carriers and farm equipment. There is a fantastic history of the snow mobile. Lot's of stuff on war. Old toys. Part junk yard, part tribute to white supremacy, part 'wow, that's some cool old sh-t' and part 'I've always wanted to see one of those up close and swing it around my head' kind of a place.
We spent a night on the ...... river in Idaho and landed at my sister's place in Seattle the next day. I've always liked Seattle, I spent a lot of time there with my grandmother as a kid. Strangely, they have a dog poo problem like San Francisco had in the '70's before personal responsibility became a 'thing.' Seattle seems to be a little more beer oriented than San Francisco but compared to Boulder, Bozeman, or Missoula, it is more on the wine side of the fence. It is also a lot bigger. I had great meetings with martial artists and my friend Josh Leeger.
We then went down to Portland and spent a wonderful night with Rory Miller and his wife Kami. Then ate and drank our way through Portland with my wife Sarah's brother who is a chef. Portland has changed a lot since I was there last. It has a huge food, coffee, bicycles and beer scene.
As a general rule in America, there is more Homeless Pride the closer one comes to the coast.
Here is the list of insanely energetic Martial Arts folk I've met with a few quick comments:
Susan Mathews (Durango: Great use of centerline and wide qi base, fun and insightful about working with parkinsons)
Mike Sigman (Durango: Strong opinion about what the beginning instructions and method need to be in any internal martial arts training. Basically, the body is a spiderman suit (a fine web-like net) controlled by the dantain. Excellent discussion and rough play, people should be lining up to test their theories with him!)
Ken Cohen (Boulder: Fantastic discussion, very supportive and insightful. He way exceeded my expectation in terms of knowledge and experience and openness!)
Steven Smith (Missoula: Great time playing by the rivers, insightful about the importance of putting improvisation at the front end of martial arts training.)
Chris from the old blog Martial Development (Seattle: runs a wonderful push hands group! Great night of play with him and also Steve, as former student of New York's "The Black Taoist.")
Josh Leeger (Seattle: As usually, had no trouble keeping my interest over 4.5 hours of rapid fire ideas exchange.)
Xie Bingcan (Seattle: Could not feel any physcial action at all in his arms or shoulders while he tossed students around.)
Rory Miller (Portland: He openned his safe for me. Great insights about culture flowing at a mile a minute while fighting in the kitchen, whiskey, nagila, and swords.)
More to come.
By the way, I know that all wealth comes from creativity (unless you happen to trip on a giant gold nugget). I'm seeing a lot of wealth in places that are not obviously producing it, playgrounds for early retirement I think. I would like to see a map of every credit card purchase over the last ten years in the US. There are more ballet studios in Bend than martial arts studios. We toured the breweries last night and felt under dressed.