Have you ever had a point in your life where things just no longer made sense? You can’t figure out which direction you are going. You are not even sure that you WANT to reach your destination, much less if you CAN.
We have all been there, or at least most of us. When we are in those times of uncertainty, where do you turn? You likely will turn to those you trust the most. Family and friends. I have found that a great place to find life long friends is within the martial arts community. There is something about training together, sweating together, yes, even kicking each other, that builds a very special, deep bond.
As I was thinking about this blog post, I was reminded of this picture. Recently, the gentleman on the left, Master Nathan Moats, came by the school as part of our ongoing 30th anniversary celebration to share some memories. We talked about this picture. The brothers moats in this picture were my partners, my family. We trained together, traveled together, did demonstration tours together. We have walked through some crazy times together. Ultimately, Master Nathan would actually be a groomsman for my wedding.
When I first became a senior instructor, it was at a different program. The two here were my first black belts. Both of them were at my wedding. Sadly, one is no longer with us, but the other? Though we haven’t trained together in quite some time, we have kept in constant contact. I have had the pleasure of watching two kids grow into wonderful young adults, and am privileged to still play a part.
The last picture for this post is one of me as an early black belt with Senior Grandmaster Edward B. Sell, and Grandmaster Brenda J. Sell. Two living legends, and pioneers of Taekwondo. While he was alive, “Senior” was a Taekwondo father to me. He took personal interest in my life, and my family. Grandmaster Brenda Sell has always done the same. Today, she mentors me beyond even Taekwondo!
So, what purpose does this trip down memory lane serve? Its a reminder that, at the end of the day, community matters. Surrounding yourself with people you love, and who love you matters. Its a reminder that YOU MATTER. Sometimes we can lose sight of that, in the business of this life. Tight communities, like those found in the martial arts, can often help you refocus and recenter yourself. When life is crazy, and I can’t understand, you will find me either with my God, my wife, or my Taekwondo family. These are the greatest influences in my life!
Where are you being influenced? What group of people do you trust when your world is crazy? Always make sure it is people who are truly in your corner!