As the eldest of three , with a younger brother and sister. It was such bestowed upon me that I’d have to be a protector of my younger siblings. Well with the fact that my father thought it best to desert this his then family and start life anew elsewhere. It left me angry and my mother an emotional wreck at the time. At the age of nine , a ‘father figure’ as such became unknown to me. So instead , it was left a distant relative to come along and bestow his own knowledge and kindness upon myself and younger siblings.
And with the fact that now my now deserted mother had to work all the hours that God could send. It left all three of us (kids) with a great deal of time on our hands. To say that we weren’t mischievous would be putting it mildly. But if there was one thing clear … ‘it was the unconditional love ‘ that our mother showed us , no matter what her emotional mindset was at the time. She’d regale us with the fact that she was proud of us and the way that we were beginning to overcome the departure of our father. She stated that we weren’t at fault in any way. Somehow , I wasn’t sure that was true but later on , I believed her . And that came about in the most unusual of ways.
‘Kata’ the traditional terms used in any martial arts movement format. Closely associated however, in the genre of karate.
Grant, who was my mother’s cousin , felt it was necessary for my brother and I to take up a sporting endeavor that he felt would toughen us up. Well in high school , I played and participated in a number of sports, from soccer , to boxing, to cricket , to tennis, to track and field. But if anything it was those sports he felt wasn’t what he felt would make men of my brother and myself. He introduced us both to the martial arts. Karate to be exact. And that was how it came about that I fell in love with the martial arts . The first time entering a martial arts dojo . and seeing karate first hand , up close and personal. And it were as if I’d finally found my calling . I became enamored with the thought of being a martial arts practitioner. I’d seen the movies of Bruce Lee and loved them ! Though the story lines were somewhat far fetched and the action seemed implausible. Those times I shared with friends watching those films at a late night showing in a movie theater ,were memorable in more ways than one.
Boxing and soccer had always been my first loves when it came to sports. But now karate had become my mistress . And if anything , I found it far more exhilarating than that of soccer and boxing. My brother wasn’t one for discipline insomuch as the teachings of the discipline and he soon dropped out attending the classes. His passion , he felt at the time was to play soccer and no doubt chase the female form. Not that I for one wasn’t interested in the latter. But by my way of thinking at the time. You could always impress the females with something shall we say ….. different ? And so it came about that the genre of the martial arts and that of karate became my passion. Over the years I’ve immersed myself in the art , its teachings and Far Eastern philosophy. Along the way I practiced other forms of martial arts , including savate, taekwondo and muay thai . Karate however, was where I honed my skills and became proficient enough to earn a Black Belt in the art. Upon entering the military (British Royal Marines) I taught the art to members of the military whilst in the service. Those ten years initially spent learning the art gave me a good grounding , for which I’ll be forever grateful upon my uncle for bestowing upon me. Were it not for him. I seriously doubt that I’d have come this far , much less learned the lessons that have made the person I am today.
And whilst my stay in the military was a fruitful one . Where I served my country, made a slew of friends and have seen various parts of the world. I still at times hearken back to that first visit to the dojo and wondered what might’ve been, had I not chosen to remain there and learned something.
Has there been an experience in your life that has been somewhat similar ? And if so what was it and how was it beneficial for you ?