For my martial arts teacher. Never would I have imagined that I would be where I am today. Since the very first time I walked into the dojo, I’ve been learning. I’ve learned about others, I’ve learned about the martial arts, and most importantly, I’ve learned about myself. I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses and though I accept both, I now work harder on the weaknesses in hopes that some day they'll turn into my strengths. My journey has not been an easy one, but I don't want it to be easy. I know sometimes it seems like your role in peoples’ lives are overlooked - especially with the younger students. But take it from a more experienced student - we appreciate you and all you do for us. We appreciate your dedication to our learning and our success knowing full well you have a life outside of the dojo. For being patient with us when we can’t get something right away (or even 3 months later); for showing us that we need to master the art of listening before we can master the art of learning; and for encouraging us to be better than we are - thank you. I am proud to say I have trained under your wing.
1. For showing me the correct way to throw a punch and then being patient enough to keep reminding me if I've forgotten how to properly align my hand and arm.
2. For keeping me in shape, especially when eating is my favorite pastime (haha!)
3. For showing me that I don’t need to be anything other than myself.
4. For showing me the true meaning of dedication and perseverance: “Practice the kata another 5 times just to make sure you’ve got it down.”
5. For making me practice all of my kicks 10 times on each leg, and giving me extreme leg muscles to impress my friends with!
6. For being my role model.
7. For encouraging me and telling me that I'm doing well, even when I know I can’t spin the sai to save my life...
8. For not getting frustrated with me when I ask 25 questions pertaining to the same technique and then still mess it up the first time I try.
9. For modifying almost all the techniques because I'm too short to reach someone without first kicking them in the back of the knee
10. For teaching me to believe in myself above anything else because martial arts is both a physical and spiritual journey
11. For being not only my teacher, but my friend and believing in me.
12. For showing me that a "martial arts family" is very much a real thing and you really do take care of each other.
13. For hitting me a couple times, (by mistake, or at least I hope so, LOL!) so I can learn to see and feel a punch, and toughen up my body.
14. For inspiring me to become an instructor and helping me to be able to answer all the ridiculous questions the younger students have for me.
15. For helping me reach my goals and reaching heights I never thought I could
Sensei, where would I be without you? Thank you for all you do - you inspire me.