I'm back in the dojo! Martial arts and my life/Estoy de vuelta en el dojo! Las artes marciales y mi vida

in palnet •  4 months ago 

My childhood was marked by violence. Maybe the word "plagued" describes it better. I was a very accomplished fighter by the time I was in middle school. It is true that I used martial arts at times, but mostly I just did what is now referred to as "ground and pound" to anyone that dared to step to me, or disrespect me. I wasn't a bully. In fact I was the anti-bully. I made a bit of a profit putting the fear of God into those who intimidated and disrespected the nerds, geeks and gays in all the schools I went to.

I had these foster parents in 5th grade that told me they would fix me. They enrolled me in Taekwondo at a place called Ju's Taekwondo. Master Ju is a wicked man who loves to hurt people and enjoys to send his cockiest and cruellest students to new, or smaller dojos, and use his students to scare and intimidate newcomers into leaving. I spent almost all my time in that place being beaten senseless and dishing out as much as I could to grown men who a 10 year old had no chance in hell at beating. They are not the reason I can take a punch from God and remain standing and unaffected, but they may be why I am not affected by pain like the rest of you.

To be completely honest, I was pissed off that they were making me go. I saw it like a chore and even on the first day, they were incredibly cruel to me. It wasn't that I didn't fight back, it was that there was nothing I could do about 4 black belts beating the shit out of me for no other reason than to inflict pain while pretending to teach the class. On top of being maybe the worst dojang in all existence, it was hard work and I was a 10 year old boy who came back to my foster home every day covered in a thick layer of dirt. Anyone who survived the foster care system without becoming a drug addict or permanent resident of any one of the government's finest hotels for adults knows that you can tell a social worker that martial arts will cure you and even cause you to use respectful and kind words with your captors. Violence cures violence. And the government will pay for it! And they did. I obtained my black belt very quickly, and then did not advance further due to my discipline problems outside the dojang and was expelled for committing a series of crimes. It soured me to martial arts for a long time.

Fast forward to my mid 20s and I am sitting at home waiting for the pre-kindergarten bus to drop her off my 4 year old girl. I'm thinking about those days, sparring and competing, and fighting. The bus stops and I go aboard to unbuckle my little girl. There's a boy standing on the seat next to her, looking down at her, and she's covered in spit. Of course the bus driver didn't do anything about it. He pretended that her jacket wasn't covered in a thick layer of spit. The first thought was that I should follow the bus to this boy's house and beat his dad half to death and spit on him because it is painfully obvious where that boy learned to disrespect females like that. But I thought better and started looking around for a dojo. Well, she was 4 so none of the traditional schools would teach her. I ended up paying for a trial membership at a "McDojo" thinking she could get hooked and then learn from me. Well, she broke a board and that boy was enrolled there as well. When I told the owners what he had done and why I brought her there, he was expelled immediately because he admitted to using his training to subdue and abuse her. (I guess even McDojos have some standards.) That place could not have gotten my business for charging $250 a month and scheduling tests for an extra $150 with guaranteed advancement, not their instructors were not certified, and were not even Dan level. I started looking for a traditional Moo Duk Kwan dojang. I did not find one, but I did find Shorin Ryu.

Within a year I basically lived martial arts again. All my free time was practicing kata and shadowboxing. If I didn't have free time it was because I was in the dojo. When I say it was all I did, I am not exaggerating. At first, it was me and her. Then she passed a test, obtained her yellow belt and promptly said "good enough" and quit. I, however, could not. The lineage of that dojo is short but epic. Bill Martin, Neil Stolsmark, Shuguro Nakazato, Chosin Chibana

I attended off and on for several years before life drove me further north and I could no longer afford to attend classes due to the time and money it cost to travel so far. For 4 years I trained alone daily. Again life became difficult and I eventually stopped training. The last 3 years has been difficult, to say the least. I was painfully aware every living second of my failure as a karateka, and that it is wrong of me to continue to stay idly by.

3 days ago at work a bay door was stuck and needed to be slammed back into position. For whatever reason, I gave it a powerful side kick which forced it closed. I lost complete control of my moderation and searched google right there on my phone for a traditional Okinawan karate school. I found one a half mile from my apartment. It was there when i graduated high school, though I never noticed it until now. Tonight was my first class in 3 years. Most of it was spent observing the differences between the two styles, and getting to know the other students. The differences are profound, but nonetheless, I will stay. For the first time, I noticed the large amounts of judo that have always been incorporated into my own personal fighting style. I have not studied Judo, though I have learned some kata from friends. The Judo comes from a former instructor of mine who I worked very well with. He has maybe the same amount of time training in Judo as I have years of life. I had not noticed the transformation until tonight. I am somewhat pleased with it, but curious as to how I missed seeing it all these years. Taekwondo gives me the speed and reach, Judo the close quarters brawling ability, Shorin Ryu the brutal striking power, and I will find out what Ryu no Te brings me in the next few years.
Martial arts has always been a part of me and will remain so until I die. I cannot wait for the next class.


Mi infancia estuvo marcada por la violencia. Tal vez la palabra "plagado" lo describe mejor. Yo era un luchador muy logrado cuando estaba en la escuela intermedia. Es cierto que a veces usé artes marciales, pero sobre todo hice lo que ahora se conoce como "suelo y golpe" a cualquiera que se atreviera a pisarme, o que me faltara el respeto. No era un matón. De hecho, yo era el anti-bully. Hice un poco de ganancia poniendo el temor de Dios en aquellos que intimidaron e irrespetaron a los nerds, geeks y gays en todas las escuelas a las que fui.

Tuve unos padres adoptivos en 5º grado que me dijeron que me curarían. Me inscribieron en Taekwondo en un lugar llamado Ju's Taekwondo. El Maestro Ju es un hombre malvado al que le encanta hacer daño a la gente y le gusta enviar a sus estudiantes más gallitos y crueles a dojos nuevos o más pequeños, y usar a sus estudiantes para asustar e intimidar a los recién llegados para que se vayan. Pasé casi todo el tiempo en ese lugar siendo golpeado sin sentido y dando todo lo que pude a hombres adultos a los que un niño de 10 años de edad no tenía ninguna oportunidad de golpear. Ellos no son la razón por la que puedo recibir un puñetazo de Dios y permanecer de pie y sin ser afectado, pero pueden ser la razón por la que no soy afectado por el dolor como el resto de ustedes.

Para ser completamente honesto, estaba enojado porque me estaban obligando a ir. Lo vi como una tarea e incluso el primer día, fueron increíblemente crueles conmigo. No fue que no me defendiera, fue que no había nada que pudiera hacer con respecto a los 4 cinturones negros que me daban una paliza sin otra razón que la de infligirme dolor mientras fingía que daba la clase. Además de ser quizás el peor dojang de toda la existencia, fue un trabajo duro y yo era un niño de 10 años que regresaba a mi casa de acogida todos los días cubierto de una gruesa capa de tierra. Cualquiera que haya sobrevivido al sistema de hogares de crianza sin convertirse en un drogadicto o residente permanente de uno de los mejores hoteles para adultos del gobierno sabe que usted puede decirle a un trabajador social que las artes marciales le curarán e incluso le harán usar palabras respetuosas y amables con sus captores. La violencia cura la violencia. ¡Y el gobierno pagará por ello! Y lo hicieron. Obtuve mi cinturón negro muy rápidamente, y luego no avancé más debido a mis problemas de disciplina fuera del dojang y fui expulsado por cometer una serie de delitos. Me amargaron las artes marciales durante mucho tiempo.

Avanzo rápidamente a mis 20 años y estoy sentada en casa esperando que el autobús de pre-kindergarten la deje con mi hija de 4 años. Estoy pensando en esos días, entrenando y compitiendo, y luchando. El autobús se detiene y subo a bordo para desabrochar a mi pequeña. Hay un niño parado en el asiento de al lado, mirándola, y ella está cubierta de saliva. Por supuesto que el conductor del autobús no hizo nada al respecto. Fingió que su chaqueta no estaba cubierta de una gruesa capa de saliva. Lo primero que pensé fue que debía seguir el autobús hasta la casa de este niño y golpear a su padre hasta la muerte y escupirle porque es dolorosamente obvio dónde aprendió a faltarle el respeto a las mujeres de esa manera. Pero pensé mejor y empecé a buscar un dojo. Bueno, tenía 4 años, así que ninguna de las escuelas tradicionales le enseñó. Terminé pagando por una membresía de prueba en un "McDojo" pensando que ella podría engancharse y luego aprender de mí. Bueno, rompió una tabla y ese chico también estaba inscrito allí. Cuando le dije a los dueños lo que había hecho y por qué la llevé allí, fue expulsado inmediatamente porque admitió haber usado su entrenamiento para someterla y abusar de ella. (Supongo que incluso los McDojos tienen algunos estándares.) Ese lugar no podría haber conseguido mi negocio por cobrar $250 al mes y programar pruebas por un extra de $150 con avance garantizado, no sus instructores no estaban certificados, y ni siquiera eran de nivel Dan. Empecé a buscar un dojang tradicional de Moo Duk Kwan. No encontré uno, pero sí a Shorin Ryu.

Dentro de un año volví a vivir las artes marciales. Todo mi tiempo libre era practicando kata y shadowboxing. Si no tenía tiempo libre era porque estaba en el dojo. Cuando digo que fue todo lo que hice, no estoy exagerando. Al principio, éramos ella y yo. Luego pasó una prueba, obtuvo su cinturón amarillo y prontamente dijo "lo suficientemente bien" y renunció. Yo, sin embargo, no pude. El linaje de ese dojo es corto pero épico. Bill Martin,Neil Stolsmark,Shuguro Nakazato,Chosin Chibana

Asistí de vez en cuando durante varios años antes de que la vida me llevara más al norte y ya no podía permitirme asistir a clases debido al tiempo y el dinero que me costaba viajar hasta ahora. Durante 4 años entrené solo todos los días. De nuevo la vida se volvió difícil y finalmente dejé de entrenar. Los últimos 3 años han sido difíciles, por decir lo menos. Estaba dolorosamente consciente de cada segundo viviente de mi fracaso como karateka, y que es un error por mi parte continuar permaneciendo de brazos cruzados.

Hace 3 días, en el trabajo, una puerta de la bahía estaba atascada y necesitaba que se la volviera a colocar en su sitio.

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I'll return to comment. And yes... despite 12 days, I gave you a full upvote...

I grew up an only child... no Dad. Mom who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 20... I was everyone's punching bag. Enrolled in Kenpo-Traco at a young age... I was not ready. Year's later, I found a hole in the wall... Dojo; the one that would change my life.

Though I only went for a short time, Okinawan Shorin-Ryu would become the mindset that I still have to this day. By the time I learned how to defend myself, all those who picked on me, grew to love other things in life. The one thing not being attacking me...

Great story my friend, and thank you for the upvote...

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