Friday, November 19, 2010

Being a dad

I am sitting at Applebees waiting for food and I was looking at my kids in my photos. I got all emotional because I do not have them here with me. I love my children to the point I would kill someone for hurting them. I am not joking I would hunt you down like a dog and inflict the worst pain you ever felt if you messed with my children.

As I am looking at the pics I realize just how ill-equipped I am as a father. I never had a good role model for a dad. I had 5 step fathers so trust me when I say I had enough bad examples. My current step dad is a nice guy but I meet him when I was 17 and left home at 18. He is a great guy and I am happy my kids call him Papa by he wasn't an influence growing up.

My biggest influence was my high school electronics teacher, Mr Wayne Fruge. I spent more time with him in 4 years than anyone else. He was the main reason I went into teaching and still I hope to be as good of a teacher as him.

My son is 17 now and I think I did an ok job raising him. He is turning into a fine young man and I am proud of him. I just wish I could do more for him. Unfortunately I decided to be a school teacher.

Well my food is here and I just hope that the most important job I have been taxed with I do not fail.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


In an effort to make some things better I am going to begin writing a blog and see how it goes. I do not know how this will go or how it will turn out but I think that it is best to start chronically things to help make some sense of it.

I guess I can start with the gym. I am a martial arts instructor. While this is not my full time job I associate myself as such more so than as a school teacher which I do as my main job. The teaching job we can talk about later and I will more than likely rant about it many times. I am currently a Judo BB and BJJ purple belt. I enjoy the title of instructor at Gladiators Academy of Lafayette under Tim Creduer. I get to train all aspects of people in martial arts from the accountants to professional fighters. I really enjoy this part of my day.

I think there is something about putting on the judogi and tying my belt that gets me in the right mindset. I know not many people can understand this but I have a great affinity for role as an instructor. The responsibility that comes with teaching people is something I cherish. I feel great satisfaction when I see one of my students perform a move that I taught them. The process of putting on my judogi is the start of it for me. Its a uniform and I think that from my time in the Marines the wearing of a uniform held an important significance.

In the Marines we were expected to be a textbook version of a Marine when in uniform. Everything had to be in a certain place and wore in a certain manner. A judogi can not be pressed and ironed but it still can be presentable. I make sure that the judogi I wear is clean and not foul smelling. I take great care when tying my belt to ensure both ends are the same length and my name and the judo kanji are facing outward. My BB has become worn and is starting to fade. I think of all the time it has been around my waist and the amount of work that has gone into earning and keeping that belt and it makes me smile to think I can still wear it.

The next best feeling is when my feet hit the mat. That cushioned vinyl surface absorbs all of life problems and makes me feel at home. Aches, pains, worries and concerns are all just gone once I feel it under my feet. Its the best therapy.

I will finish with a story.

I was in Japan at the Kodokan on a visit to see my wife's family. If you ever get the chance to go to Japan please do so. As I was going up the stairs to the main training hall I passed a couple of older judoka in thier 60s with canes making their way up to the dojo. They could barely make it up the steps. After we bow in the older guys began randori, sparring. No warm up no stretching they just grabbed each other and began to move.

They started off foot sweeping each other over and over. It was beautiful technique. They would throw each other with umph to it. After each throw the would laugh get up and sweep the other one to the mat. Then they began to throw each other in hip tosses and seoi nages. I could hear them hit the mat from halfway across the room. I would look over thinking someone just got KTFO and it was those 2 old men. They would laugh and get right back at it. They keep it up for about 20 minutes then sat down. I am thinking that they were done for the day. Nope. They then started with the younger guys and would foot sweep, toss them and most impressively completely stop the younger guys technique with a simple hip check or just embarrassingly counter them.

I am sitting there in between rounds of randori marveling at these 2 old men who could barely make it up the steps and were using canes to get around get on the tatami and destroy people. I am glad to have witnessed it that day and hope that one day I will be fortunate enough to be one of those men.