When I was about 13 years old, I used to have a massive German Shepard called Rocky. He was just as intense as it was massive, so walking him at night was a safe bet…for everyone.
During one of those nightly walks, I saw a magnificent silhouette moving about space in a way I never saw before. I was fascinated, so I mustered the courage to knock on that window. He was a night guard, a University student, and soon to become my first Sensei.
He took me in as his student, and we trained together for a long time, mostly every night, around Midnight. I was hooked. Sometime in the beginning of our training, he told me that if I can stick to the practice for the first six months, the practice will stick with me for my entire life. I did, stick with it – and I can now say – more than 30 years later – that the PRACTICE did stick with me ever since. My gratitude to him is never ending.
This is how I began my journey through Martial Arts – first in Okinawan Goju-Ryu, and later on in Aikido. Nowadays, I am enjoying being a clumsy student of Taijiquan, and continue to be fascinated by how amazing our brains are – ever capable of learning, if we are willing.