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gheinisch
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Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 2140
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Martial Arts - My Way of Life! Reply with quote

It was six years ago on a Sunday morning sitting in church that my life would take a turn in a direction that I could not foresee. My family and I were there, and before the service started, my wife and I were looking through the bulletin like we have many Sundayís before. This day however would be different. On the back of the bulletin there was a small paragraph about the starting of a Christian martial arts class by one of the members of our congregation.

I immediately said to my self that I was way too old for martial arts. You see, I was thirty four at the time, but it sounded like a good idea and I new it would be successful. My wife on the other hand thought it was a great chance for me and our then thirteen year old son to do something together. After much protest and explaining that I was in no shape to start something as physical as martial arts, I agreed to give it a try for a couple of weeks and see what it was all about. After all, I was always fascinated by the amazing things I saw growing up watching Kung Fu Theater on Saturday mornings. Maybe given a little time, I would be able to do some of that magical stuff I had so often seen in those badly dubbed movies. Just kidding, of course!

Well the day finally came for us to go to our first class. My son and I show up ready to learn in our blue jeans. What were we thinking? Thank goodness we werenít the only ones that new absolutely nothing about the martial arts. That night we meet the man who would be our instructor. He brought with him 38 years of experience and numerous real life applications of the martial arts.

The first thing he told us all was to wear something a little less restrictive for the next class. I had already figured that one out. He told us that, at one time, he had schools that he ran but became disheartened by the business side that goes with running a dojo. He had given up teaching and had no intentions of ever starting to teach again. One day he received word that his original instructor (Hanshi John Pachivas) had passed away. He and many other students of Hanshi Pachivas attended the memorial service and all of the black belts that had been promoted by Hanshi Pachivas, himself included, draped their belts over his casket as a show of respect. There were hundreds of belts after all was said and done.

This one event changed the way our instructor felt about teaching. He saw how many people that his instructor had influenced and thought that he was being very selfish in not sharing his knowledge with others so they could have the same opportunity that he had growing in the martial arts. He decided to start this school to share his knowledge and experiences free of charge for those willing to learn. He explained to us that he taught slowly but if we stuck with him we would have a very good understanding of the martial arts. There would be no belt testing fees, he would test us and buy our belts for us as we earned them. In this way, he felt no pressure from students or parents to promote before someone was absolutely ready. He stated that those who were there solely for the recognition that a belt color may bring will get bored and probably drop out. I was always one to say that if youíre going to do something, you might as well do it right. So, I made it up my mind that I was going to be in it for the long haul.

Itís now been six years since my son and I started training, unfortunately my son quit training after about four and half years to join the Navy. Not to say that we are not very proud of him for doing so, just that I wish he would have been able to continue training. I lost out on a good training partner as well. My wife asked me when our son was no longer able to come to class if I was going to continue. I told her that I wasnít going to quit for anything. I had the martial arts bug, I guess. I continue to train and, this past June, I and two others achieved the rank of Shodan. Itís a very good feeling to know that this rank was earned by hard work and determination to become the very best martial artist that I can be.

Itís funny to think back at how many students started and dropped out over the six years weíve been training. I have a better understanding now of how hard it must be to run a dojo where you must charge a fee to survive and at the same time keep the students interested and goal oriented. After all, our class is free and you have the opportunity to learn from one of the best with almost forty years of experience and yet I know we have gone through hundreds of students these past six years.

Iím so happy I stuck with it even though there were times when I asked myself if Iím doing the right thing. Martial arts are very much like a roller coaster ride, a lot of ups and downs but the ups far outweigh the downs. I not only have learned an art where I can defend myself, my family or those who are unable to defend themselves. I, and the other two black belts, now teach the younger students and help them with their journey in the arts.

I also have found another family at my dojo. I know there would be no hesitation if I got on the phone and called Hanshi or someone else from the class for help. Over the years we have had the honor to meet and train with some of our instructorsí students who are now teachers themselves. They have come from Seattle, Boston and Florida to train and share their knowledge with us. They have also become close friends and people I care a great deal about.

I guess the moral of this story is to take hold of something and make it yours. Never give up and never say you canít do something. Tell me you wonít do it, but never say you canít do it. You can know how rewarding it can be to accomplish something that you set out to do and to make it a part of you life that no one can ever take a way from you. Every once in a while my wife will ask me ďare you going to karate tonight?Ē I just look at her and say ďremember, it was your idea that got me started with karate.Ē I canít imagine my life now without martial arts.
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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
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Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the submission.
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KarateK
Black Belt
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Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1407
Location: N/West England, UK
Styles: Shukokai Karate

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And of course if you hadnt started MA you wouldnt have met us ugly lot and spend all your time explaining Lost to me!!! Your articles always make me think Gheinisch, and its almost always something I can relate to. Great post x
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice article. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
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gheinisch
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Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 2140
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Guys, it's been a great experience. And KarateK you know I'll talk about LOST in a hot second.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gheinisch wrote:
Thanks Guys, it's been a great experience. And KarateK you know I'll talk about LOST in a hot second.


What happens when that show finally ends.....?????
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gheinisch
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Joined: 09 Jan 2003
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Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure they'll do a spin-off of the show called "FOUND".
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bushido_man96
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gheinisch wrote:
I'm sure they'll do a spin-off of the show called "FOUND".



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KarateK
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Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1407
Location: N/West England, UK
Styles: Shukokai Karate

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
gheinisch wrote:
Thanks Guys, it's been a great experience. And KarateK you know I'll talk about LOST in a hot second.


What happens when that show finally ends.....?????


Why would you say such a thing? You will give me nightmares!!!!!
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ninjanurse
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Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6154
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice! The way it should be.


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