In 2014, having recently returned to Washington due to family crisis and the resulting onuses, I found myself needing a focus distinctly separate from those responsibilities. A short search of the small town brought me to a Shudokan school, which I promptly signed up for. Tenure as a student there was very brief, about three weeks to be exact, due to it closing. That was just enough exposure to prompt me into finding another Dojo. A month later, I started classes with Shihan Quitadamo at Central Kyokushin.
During this adventure, as an older woman, the question ‘Why am I doing this?’ certainly crossed my mind and the answer has evolved. The response in the beginning was I needed to expend stress, engage my mind, and remind myself I possess fortitude. In 2016, reasons expanded to include an injured adult son that needed the rehabilitative benefits of karate. Bringing him into the fold opened my eyes even more to the many benefits of practicing martial arts. Every time I headed to class feeling out of sorts, I left feeling better for both of us. We have had an enormous amount of fun and enjoyment while simultaneously bettering ourselves.
The answer now is I believe it will continue to improve me as an individual. It doesn’t matter if I cannot perform as in younger years. The gifts come when I finally get something down, watch another’s development, or give some helpful instruction. Good people and friends have become part of this experience. Imagining life without Kyokushin and the Dojo becomes increasingly difficult as time passes. Whether with confidence or humility, I look forward to learning more.