As cheesy as it might sound, I love my new family. Before I joined Contact Kicks to study Kyokushin Karate life was very different for me, and I have written about it here. I have talked about all the benefits I received from the physical training and conditioning of Kyokushin, the philosophical benefits of training under Sensei Steve Fogarasi, who encompasses true budo, as well as the affect it has had my personal life. But one area that often gets overlooked when we are searching for training is the friendships that are formed.
Contact Kicks has become my extended family. This became evident this past weekend when I had a small get-together at my home, before I move. I have written about the changes in my life this past year. Leaving my career, selling my home and new journeys. Frankly, none of that would have happened without Kyokushin.
While the physical and mental are very important, the emotional side should not be over looked. In my dojo I have formed amazing relationships, with people from different walks of life. Police officers, IT professionals, students, corporate folks… you name it. The one thing we all have in common is the love we have for kyokushin and the sweat we spill on the mats.
A deep bond has formed. It isn’t uncommon for us to help one-another outside of the dojo. We are there for each other to support, lend an ear, and sometimes muscle. I know I can always call on my new family if I need them. It’s an amazing feeling.
On top of this, I have formed friendships with other Kyokushin people and karate-ka from around the world. Most any continent I can travel to I know there is a dojo, or person I can call on. I have never experienced anything like this before in my life. Though we might share differences in terms of the individual organizations we belong to. I.e. IKO, IFK, WKO, etc., we all share the passion and love for karate that was developed by Sosai Mas Oyama. Though it’s unfortunate that we can’t be “one”, I am sure Sosai would be happy to know that his karate has developed a family that reaches around the world.
I have been invited personally to train in Russia, Brazil, UK, Ireland and Japan. Most are Kyokushin, but some are from other styles of Karate as well. Hajime Kazumi, Karate Nerd Jesse Enkamp, Anatoly Krivodedov, and many more.. I’m not sure if I’ll make it to all of the places, but I know if I do, I will have a handshake, a smile, … and an OSU! waiting for me.
The same goes for here. We are open to visitors from around the world. In April we will be hosting a Seminar taught by Shihan David Pickthall (6th Dan, IFK Vice President, from London UK). Besides being lucky enough to have Shihan Pickthall offer his vast knowledge, we will have visitors from around Canada and the United States joining us. More friendships will be formed, and I am sure more invitations to travel.
So, to my family at Contact Kicks Martial Arts, I say thank you, for everything you have given me. And to my extended Kyokushin and Karate family around the world, I say thank you for welcoming me, and I hope someday we can meet and train in person.