Why do I love the martial arts so much?
by Heather Gawlick
After last week's post, I thought the natural thing to talk about next would be why I love the martial arts so much. After all, I've been at it since 1994.
Yup. That's it. That's the whole thing.
Sure, I've done no-hands rolls flipping over lines of crouched people. Sure, I've let a giant Buddha-looking guy come at me full force with a wooden sword while I'm armed only with forgetting the technique to defend myself and lived to tell the tale. Sure, I've let guys at least a foot taller than me toss me face-first over their shoulders in the most nerve-wracking throw I know. Sure, I've grappled with some of the top judo guys in the United States and came up smiling...
But, it all comes down to the people.
These guys and gals have been family to me and more. They are the kind of people who give you great big hugs and make you cry with happiness when you finally get to show up after not being there ten years because life made you move so far away.
They are the kind of people who always make you feel loved - no matter if your current life situation is good or bad. They love you even if you have done something stupid and will help you get back on track.
They are the kind of people who take your son out for ice cream with a wink "behind mom's back," like a favorite uncle.
They are the kind of people who make you smile and are always happy to see you.
They are the kind of people who you can call if you are stranded on the highway. You may not even know them. You call saying you are a part of the family, and they would show up, rescue you, give you the shirt off their back, buy you dinner, insist you stay at their place for the night, then take you to class the next morning.
They are the kind of people you can leave your purse or wallet on the front porch for days in a major city, forgetting about it only to find it exactly the way you left it. Heck, I've even watched some people leave bills on a table and it's still there hours later when they get back.
They are the kind of people you willingly allow to put your body in some pretty serious positions where things could get broken in really nasty ways. They really are the kind of people you can trust with your life and they trust you with theirs.
You become a part of the best kind of family on the face of the earth. If you ever find yourself in a group like that, hold on to those people for dear life. They will enrich you completely.
Yup. It's all about the people.
Thank you to all my dojo friends out there. I can never repay you enough for all the unconditional love you have given me. Come on over any time!
Heather and Roy Gawlick love Aikido and have a passion for sharing it with others. They hope you'll catch the Aikido bug, too!
Shinju Dojo Aikido Martial Arts School in Longview / Kelso, Washington