2016 Martial Arts Year in Review

Alright folks! Time to reflect on everything that has happened this year, share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned (or reaffirmed) and set some goals in this year’s

Martial Arts


This year, as we all know, sucked. Lots of craziness going on around the world, we lost a number of wonderful people and saw some life changing events that will or have altered life as we know it. I like to concentrate on the positive things, though. Martial arts has definitely been one of the most positive for me (second only to meeting and being with the lovely and amazing Cait. Cuz I love her. Yes, even more than Karate, babe…Lol) so let’s go over some of the better moments:

Finding a new family: coming to All Canadian Martial Arts lead to finding some great friends and having some great memories. From my boys in the Lean Mean Green Machine, to some of the folks who just make things that much more…Interesting? Yeah we’ll call it that lol everyone at the dojo works hard every night and pushes their own personal boundaries. I can truly appreciate that and the friendships I’ve made over the course of the year.

Progress: getting to green belt in a year took a lot of hard work and dedication but it was very well worth it. Not only did having a fantastic group of instructors help, but also finding time and space at home to practice by myself. Practice makes perfect!

Black Belt Extravaganza: this was a ridiculously awesome night and one I can’t wait for next year!

Here are some of the things I learned personally over the year.

Learning takes time. You can’t learn everything over night. It takes years to master the arts and it cannot be rushed along. Even if you think your skills are flawless, there is always something to improve upon.

Listen to your body. There were several times I couldn’t go to class because of injury or illness. It’s not the end of the world. Fix yourself before going out there and breaking yourself again!

Kata are like every day life. Everything in them, regardless of how big or small, whether you understand it or not, has a very distinct purpose. It’s up to you to figure out each bunkai and put it to good use. Figure out what masters before you have thought, and come up with your own interpretations!

My instructors all taught me something as well.

Vito-sama Sensei taught me that no amount of hard work, dedication, honour and discipline is complete without a hilarious, often inappropriate joke.

Kim-sama Sensei taught me that I really should believe in myself more and that I have the ability to go as far as I can in Karate.

Amanda-sama Sensei taught me that there is always a right time and a wrong time for everything. Especially joking and fooling around.

Chen-sama Sensei taught me that the traditional ways of Karate are still alive and well and that even the most obscure of lessons has a deep seeded meaning.

Professor Fariba-sama taught me that even though something appears difficult and foreign that if you practice enough, study enough and believe in yourself, you can accomplish it.

Finally my goals for the upcoming year!

– train hard and learn as much as possible, progressing to not only the highest belt, but highest standard I can

– make even more friends and promote a friendly, hard working environment in my own way at the dojo

– pass on whatever knowledge I have to those of junior belt and be the best example of Karateka I can be.

– improve cardio. Cuz it sucks.

That’s it for now, folks! Don’t forget that hard work beats out natural talent when talent is lazy; a short workout is better than no workout; between hajime and kume, there are no friends and only YOU set limits on yourself. Get out there and train!!!

Til next year,




2016.12.13 Quote of the Day

Jeeze. Haven’t posted here in a while. A quick update.

Work is insane, as is par for the course. I’m getting ready to move in a few weeks. That’s always fun. Yay new furniture!! This weekend Cait and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. Somehow this angel of a woman found a way to stay with me for a year. Bless her heart lol she made me a scrap book of our first year, a present she’s been working on for months. Easily the single most meaningful, most beautiful gift I have ever received. I don’t know which Emperor’s child I saved in a previous life to have the gods send me this amazing woman, but I’m sure glad for it.

Quote! Of! The Friggin’ Day!!

It is not by me, or some famous dead person. ┬áNo, today’s QOTD was spoken directly to me and surprisingly about me. Tonight was the final night before grading. Sweet. A chance to give er my all, maybe earn a couple stripes and kick ass in grading!! Yeah. That was a short lived dream lol after class I asked Shihan how I could improve myself. Not only for the purpose of grading but just in general. I am always striving to be a better Karateka. Turns out that belt is more than a symbol of skill and accomplishment, but also of time invested in training the art. I am missing some time, which I blame on surgery, illness and an awkward work schedule. She also reaffirmed what I already believed. Just keep training and showing up and giving it my all.

Then she said something that I never expected to hear. Something that made my soul smile.

“You inspire everyone here to train harder. You inspire me to teach.”

And that there….far surpasses any belt. Any grading. Any stripe. Any possible accomplishment. Not even a black belt would mean as much as that.

A Karateka is a warrior, but is also a peace maker. To me, at its very core, the purpose of Karate, the reason we train, is not to learn to fight. Not to get a fancy belt or award. The greatest reward one can have is changing yourself and changing the world for the better. It is a goal we all should have.

If you have the chance to make someone’s life better, you need to take it. You need to reach out and help someone. The measure of a master is not by their grade, nor their accomplishments, but in the successes of their students and those around them!

Til next time, train hard, sweat hard and remember…we all have the same ending in life. The journey is what makes us special.