My mission for the wrong reasons

I started karate at the age of 16 - for all the wrong reasons.

Because I was always smaller than the others, I was often the target of assaults. My original desire to defend myself and teach these bullies a lesson drove me to karate.

Ironically, the assaults stopped when the perpetrators learned that I had taken up karate, although at that point I was still unable to defend myself.

I continued my training anyway, and everything changed ...

As you gain experience in karate, you realize that it is much more than just a sport to stay fit or to defeat others. One realizes that there is a deeper meaning behind the movements. Karate changes the whole being of a person.

Karate shapes your mind, promotes discipline, and boosts your self-confidence. It helps you make better decisions and clears your mind.

Karate becomes more than just a sport or recreational activity. It is becoming a lifestyle, a way of living, a path to follow.

This change comes into our lives unnoticed. Through constant repetition, it becomes an integral part of our identity. We bow upon entering the Dōjō and before beginning a kata or partner exercise. The 1-minute meditation "Mokuso" at the beginning and end of each practice makes us more mindful.

We learn to appreciate criticism, realizing that it allows us to continually grow, learn, and work on ourselves. Someone who points out opportunities for improvement does us a great favor by saving us time that we would otherwise have to invest ourselves. We understand that criticism is not meant as a personal attack.

Anyone who understands karate and has experienced it for themselves knows that it is something wonderful.

My life would have taken a different course without the discovery of karate. Karate has helped not only myself, but also my company and my family in numerous situations. To this day, I am deeply grateful for the valuable lessons and insights I have gained through karate.

It is my calling and mission to introduce people to the world of karate and help them improve and gain a deeper understanding of themselves through this art. Despite limited opportunities, I will do my best to fulfill this mission.

For me, martial artists are one big, globally connected family, characterized by the same values: Kindness, respect, openness, humility, willingness to learn, discipline, gratitude, empathy and generosity.

I firmly believe that martial artists play a significant role in this turbulent world, and I am grateful to be part of this special community.