After working in the computer industry for 15 years I was pretty competent but unfulfilled. It was my third choice of career, and I was good at it, but it wasn’t my passion. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know what my passion was! I just knew that there must be more to life than getting in my car every morning, driving to work so that I can earn money to keep my car on the road to go to work.
I’ve always loved martial arts but didn’t necessarily want to go to China or Japan to go and do it, so when I discovered a full-time training centre three and a half hours drive away from me, I set out to discover what they were about. I went for a week long karate training camp, a gashuku, and decided I would stay on for a couple of days afterwards to learn more about what they do there.
Well, it became 3 days, then 4…and I didn’t want to leave. So when I did go back home, it was to sell everything I had, cash in my policies and pack up my life (it took me two months) so that I could return there to start a new life. I was 32.
Now this might not sound like much to you, but I’m not exactly the physical exercise type. As a matter of fact, I hate doing sport of any kind. I used to do a bit at the end of my school career just to have something to put on my reference letter, but it wasn’t exactly me.
There was something deep inside me that knew that this was right for me. And I listened. I took action. I was mad in my head. Seriously. It was the hardest journey I’ve ever taken in my life. It was taxing in the extreme. Mentally, physically and emotionally.
This was awesome! Now multiply it by 15…and that was my life for about 3 years.
But the payoff? Worth every moment of suffering and agony.
I started as a second level White Belt and got my Black Belt in 2 years instead of the normal 5 it would have taken by just doing it twice a week part time.
I didn’t just get a Black Belt in Karate. I discovered who I really was. What my weaknesses and strengths were. I grew phenomenally fast spiritually and discovered a world I didn’t even know existed. I dug holes for septic tanks, plastered and painted houses, did roof thatching, slaughtered and prepared sheep, ducks, chickens and turkeys for supper, prepared meals for 30 (or 70 at courses – doing the dishes was, well…excrutiating), sheared the sheep, watered, dug and cleaned the vegetable and herb gardens…and had to remember to switch the pump off otherwise the dam would overflow.
If you told me after school I would become a full-time martial artist I would have laughed in your face. And yet, here I am, 18 years later, still doing it at 53, and passionate about all aspects of it, especially the health part. This was the part that drew me the most. I was a Wounded Healer and needed to find peace in my Soul before I could even contemplate helping others. Now I cannot not help others. It’s what switches my Light on.
“Martial Arts is a Personal Development Tool. An Art. An Exploration of your Entire Being in All its Facets.
I’m not talking about sport here, because that’s not what we do. It’s Martial only in the sense that it is based on the Warrior arts. The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is much more challenging, and fulfilling. And will take a lifetime to explore.
I’m proud that I had the courage and commitment to take the step to look into the deepest, darkest parts of my Soul and bring them into the Light.
It has changed my life.
And made it possible for me to help so many others to do the same. For that, I will be eternally grateful.