My kendo workouts continue to be good. Having a prior background in karate is surprisingly helpful. While there are virtually no shared techniques except for some of the footwork, the concepts are the same – and I was always good at applying new concepts.
Working out outside has it challenges. Heat, bugs, various brain-dead cretins who cruise by and shout out their windows. But the shared experience makes up for all of that. What I have been missing most about karate was the camaraderie of participating with other people who have a common interest. I was never a team sport kind of guy, so I missed out on the team bonding that the football or basketball team might have in high school. I did try out for the wrestling team, but I didn’t take to the intensity of the Coach’s desire to win, Win, WIN!
Martial arts offers the chance to do an individual pursuit in a group setting. You work with partners, one on one, or sometimes two or three on one, and you practice by yourself - but with other people there. A good dojo (and I’ve found one here) will welcome you no matter what your skill level or dedication level. What is important is that each person is doing their best, striving to make themselves better.
Whatever the reason, I seem to excel at martial arts, and practicing seems to center me and bring me peace.