(crossposted to deviantart)
In 1993, I took my first karate class with my friends Kamala and Desi. We were known as the Three Mouseketeers cuz we were shy and didn't yell in class. I honestly started karate cuz I kinda liked a boy in the class, and I'd based a penguin character after him as a martial artist. My sister started the school a month before me and I'd hang out at her class and sketch the karate students, but as penguins.
As my friends dropped out of karate through the years, I stayed. My teacher was this insane-good martial artist in Ramona, CA named Steve White. But I went off to college, and wasn't in town anymore. A student from that class, and a friend of mine was starting a school in a nearby town called Lakeside. His name was Sam Frazier, and he completed my karate training and presented me with my first blackbelt. This was in 1995.
Fast forward to today. I was awarded 6th dan in the World MATA Organization by Master Sam Frazier (7th dan). It was even at the old Lakeside community center where I got my first black belt, and had taught students at for years.
World MATA is a new karate organization, designed to uphold the traditional teachings of martial arts (for us, in particular, the teaching of the late Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim). It's a resource for black belts who want to learn how to teach, to run a business, and to share knowledge with other black belts. And it's open to any style of martial arts.
Announced today was also my placement on the advisory board of that organization. And what was super touching was my dan # (black belt member number).. I'm #3. In martial arts, an impressive dan number is a lower one because it means you've been with that organization the longest. It really meant a lot to me.. all of this did. After getting my black belt, I knew I wanted to go further in the art but I was mostly wrapped into teaching.. I didn't think about promoting very much. It always suprises me when I'm told I'm ready to test.
Then we all got cake and Dave took me to my absolute favorite resteraunt in san diego for taquitos. hooray!
if you're a martial artist and you want a way better explaination of the world martial arts testing authority, check out our site: http://www.worldmata.com