“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
“Everything that happens to you is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” – Wayne Dyer
“Don’t start before the timer, it’s a waste of calories.” – Tony Dean
- 3rd Degree Black Belt: Wilkes Martial Arts
- 1st Degree Black Belt: Muay Thai kickboxing
- Instructor Training Certificate Level 3: Conducted by Kyoshi Sean Allen
- Senior First Aid / CPR
Training career highlights:
I reached forward with my left hand to snug my right ankle a little tighter under my left knee. Now this triangle was getting tight. I reached forward with both hands and grabbed my “opponent” behind his head and pulled down, now it was fully on. UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie had no choice but to tap. Ok, it was just a workshop and he was helping me put the final touches on something that my not-so-flexible body was struggling with but, hey, I had him in a triangle. That has to be a highlight doesn’t it?
Without doubt though, the real highlights for me started by moving from a mindset where I wished I had “done a martial art” to getting involved and starting this path towards being a martial artist. The catalyst for the change was my eldest son Jacob and his fascination with superheros, karate moves and his acrobatic play activities. Nina and I decided to try and let him work with that energy and fascination so we looked for, and found, a school that provided that outlet and also espoused what I considered to be the traditional martial arts values. During the period of finding the right school, I completed an introductory class trying to get a firsthand experience of what was on offer. That was the start of my own journey, with another particular highlight occurring when Jacob and I completed and received our 1st Degree black belts on the same day, four and a half years after that introductory lesson.
The journey continues today with the family involvement in Wilkes Martial Arts playing a large part in our lives. At the time of writing this, Jacob has skipped a little ahead of me and will grade for his 3rd Degree black belt on June 29th 2014. My younger son, Noah, is also on his own way with martial arts, he will grade for his brown belt on the 25th of June. None of know how far these journeys will go or take us but they have been significant in making our boys the people they are today and that is the biggest highlight. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to “throw of the bowlines,” to move from wishing to becoming involved in this awesome school and the part it plays in my boys’ upbringing.