This Sunday will be the last time I attend the first dojo I ever attended. My journey there started about 18 months ago, and, had I not stepped through the door that sunny Sunday, and had I not met my first Sensei, I would never have been introduced to Karate at all.
This is not the beginning of the end; merely the end of the beginning. By this I mean to say that I am certainly not quitting Karate and I am not quitting the club. Unfortunately though, the club is closing (at least for the here and now), and so, my Sunday morning ritual will come to an end. 😦
I am eternally grateful to my first Sensei for giving me a great start, for inspiring me to think for myself, for igniting within me a passion for martial arts, and for filling a void which I had not realised had been there before. I am grateful to him for showing me a broad spectrum of techniques, not shying away from teaching take downs, grappling and the like. I am also grateful to him for (it seems now serendipitously) introducing me to my new Sensei, 12 months ago (though I had no idea at the time that he would be my new Sensei).
I know closing the door must have been a difficult decision to make, and I appreciate the courage it would have taken to announce it to people, several of whom have been training with him for many more years than me. I know he won’t stop training and I wish him every success with the direction he is heading. I know we will likely see each other around, and I hope he gets to see me progress too, because I would like him to be proud that he helped start me off on the road with a solid grounding and direction.