At all the tournaments I ever traveled to I always wondered about the other competitors.
Who were these people who trained for the love of the art, bought the outfits I refused to put on, marveled at my family when we showed up.
The admiration usually always so warm and welcoming and it made it more enjoyable to participate as much as I did because of the people who were always so nice to my family.
When I was at a tournament, it wasn’t voluntary, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being at the venues, always had fun in the hotels and I really loved seeing the extended martial arts family I grew accustomed to see at these events.
I never thought of competing, it wasn’t discussed, I thought, “Dad already won all the stuff, so why would it matter if I did anything?”
Well, it mattered and my parents let me know year after year by telling me where and when I was competing, not asking, they just kinda announced the itinerary and if dad had to be somewhere, it just became a known fact that we would also be competing there.
At all these things I was always amazed by the competitors around us.
At first I wondered “Who forced them to compete?”
It was quite perplexing when I would find out how much they loved the Martial Arts and how hard they would work to save their money to train and compete.
Honestly, I didn’t quite understand the concept of participating to voluntarily pay to practice and compete. I either thought people exaggerated or I just shrugged it off cause I couldn’t understand why I didn’t love to talk about training as much as they did.
Looking back now, I am truly amazed and humble by so many of you.
I always remember thinking, “wow, these people are really happy to be here and I just wanna run around everywhere I can and avoid the actual tournament. Unless I had friends in the tournament, then I only wanted to find them to pull them away and make them go swimming with me”.
I also always felt that I must be so boring to these people.
I didn’t have any desire to talk about martial arts and I had absolutely ZERO knowledge of the history and styles everyone knew to love to talk about.
I always wondered what on earth drew these people to the martial arts?
I’m not sure if any of it would interest me if I wasn’t born into it.
So tell me, my martial arts family…
Why do you study?
Why do you compete?
I’m so curious about you, I really want to know your stories!!!
My answer is pretty boring… My mom and dad made me.