Saturday, November 1, 2014

Doing It Together

Yeah, this is like the parentbrag posts I've made, so I won't mind if you groan over this one.

When I started the martial arts, I was the last in my family (well, the family we had at the time - our youngest came along after we started) to get on the mat.

While my daughter had started around age 5-1/2, my husband had started about six months before I did (he in late 2007, myself in April 2008).  We first started in PaSaRyu Tae Kwon Do. so he was a bit ahead of me by the time I started.

Each of us in our PaSaRyu TKD days.

I found that a little irritating, especially when he tried to help me in class.  I didn't like being unequal to him (and I was).  Our marriage has always been one of equals, and to be in a situation where we weren't was so alien, it was difficult to adjust to.  Luckily, it didn't stay that way forever.

We fatefully met David Jones in the summer of 2008, and started Modern Arnis (and a bit of Ryukyu Kempo) together, and found the martial art that just spoke to the both of us.

We've done the martial arts together ever since.

We may be a rarity in the martial arts world in that both of us want to do martial arts the same amount (which is "a lot").  In my experience, one spouse (usually the husband, to be fair) is far more into the martial arts than the wife, if she does martial arts at all.  But this is not the case in our house.

I would do Arnis without Kevin, and I'm sure he'd do the same - but man, it's so awesome that we don't have to!

I just want to say how lucky and grateful I am that after over two decades of being married, we are still enjoying being with each other as much as ever, and a big part of that is doing the martial arts together.

Here's some of my favorite pictures of my husband Kevin doing martial arts, either with other people, or with me.  He's a very fine martial artist, and I am inordinately proud of him.

Early in our Arnis training.
  Because he's a big guy, he's often everybody's favorite uke. Here's Kevin having a good time.

Kevin will never approach this man holding a knife again.
Please, hurt him some more, he's having fun!

 I'm short - about 5 foot 2 inches - and my hubby is 6 foot tall. You can imagine how we have to adjust things when we train together.

Hubud-Lubud drill.  We sometimes do this with me standing on a step. 
A more recent picture, but you can see the height disparity.

Kevin and I doing the "Dos Manos" drill in 2011.

 When we first started, we trained with David Jones, who is a student of Bruce Chiu.  Here's Kevin playing with Bruce.

This would have been in January 2009.

This is August 2013.

One thing I admire about Kevin is that he's a very, very good teacher, and he cares about figuring out how to help people learn.   This is one of my favorite martial arts pictures of him ever taken.

"If you do it this way, it's ten times more painful. Trust me."

 Kevin and I were promoted together to Lakan and Dayang Isa (black belt), by surprise.  It was a stunning day.  Here's our "black belt" portrait with our teachers.

Bruce Chiu, Mark Lynn, myself, Kevin,and David Jones.
So, years later, we are still training hard, loving what we do, and growing together.  I'm incredibly lucky, and I know it.

Thank you for being a great husband, a great friend, a great father, and thanks for being my favorite training partner, too.

Daibutsu at Kamarkura, 1998.

Update 2015:  now we teach in our own school together,  Here's an updated portrait of the two of us:

And you can see here, martial arts is SERIOUS.  BUSINESS.