2019 was a heck of a year, and since it's Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, it's a time of reflection upon all the things I'm grateful for this year.
First, I'm very grateful I got to go to the World Modern Arnis Alliance camp in Texas in May. Not only did I get to see and train with so many people I've missed since I moved, I was recognized as Dayang Dalawa (2nd Degree Black) in the WMAA. While I was already that rank under my teacher Mark Lynn, having it recognized by a national organization and Datu Tim Hartman was super great. I am thankful for that opportunity.
I'm grateful for my teacher, Mark Lynn, who made several trips up to Kansas City to keep training with us. I'm also grateful for the help he and Datu Dieter Knüttel gave me in going back to Texas in October to get to train with lots of my best Arnis friends and schoolmates. It was an amazing trip.
I'm grateful for Teddy and Wendy Myers at Elite Dragon Martial Arts. They have become great friends and have graciously hosted getting a formal Presas Arnis program up and running at their school. They've been fantastic partners and teaching there has been my privilege and my joy.
I'm grateful for Eric Siley, owner of Self-Defense Global, who has so kindly allowed the Kansas City Presas Arnis Meetup to meet on Sunday mornings in his facility. It gets super-cold in the winter, and super-hot in the summer, and having Eric's place to keep our free little Meetup going is very appreciated.
I'm grateful for the folks who have helped us get the Heartland Arnis Players Alliance off the ground. Specifically Greg Lindquist, Ty Campos, Ken Baker, and Harley Weibling, plus friends who have attended HAPA 1 and HAPA 2.
I've made a lot of new martial arts friends this year, and I don't want to name them all in fear of missing one. But all of you are appreciated and I'm so glad we've met and are interacting.
I'm so very grateful, as always, for my best and favorite training partner, Kevin Bradbury.
Finally, I'm so very grateful for each and every one of you who read and share stuff from this blog, and the content on our social media channels (especially Facebook). When I started this hobby of blogging about the martial arts, I had no idea how much it would positively affect my life. Truly, you guys are so much fun to interact with, and I love it when you respond to what I write (good, bad, or indifferent). Please keep it up.
I'll do my best to keep writing, creating, and sharing martial arts content that is worth your time and attention.
In non-martial arts context, I'm grateful that we've been able to find stable jobs here in Kansas City, that my family are relatively healthy and whole, and that I have made some great friends as well as reconnected with old ones. And that Patrick Mahomes is the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. :)
Happy Thanksgiving, for those of you who celebrate it. If you don't, I hope you take some time to consider what you're thankful for in your life, and hey, feel free to tell us in the comments!