Seven years, it has been a total of seven years as of writing this to get to where I am today. This has been one of the best experiences that I have had that has not only helped me learn to defend myself, but in becoming a better person as a whole. At the very beginning, my parents were looking for a self-defense school since I was being bullied at the time. After finding the class, it was just a matter of joining the class with no prior martial arts experience where I met Sensei Jim Campbell. When I met him, I didn’t know what to think, the entire situation was so far off of what I had been used to doing in sports that it almost felt “uncomfortable” for a lack of better term since I had done competitive sports where bragging was a normal thing for so many years. So switching from that to a reserved and respectful martial art where there is no competition was quite a tonal shift, but after a while, I got the hang of doing things I became much more invested.
Though I had not learned anything before joining, as soon learned many traits in not only self-defense, but in self-discipline as well. I found out quickly after starting Ju-jitsu that every martial art is different when before I basically thought they were all the same thing, which was in retrospect a very ill-minded idea to think. In tandem with this, I found out that many martial bled into one another. When saying this, I mean in the regards of the moves and such, one such example I can think of is with “epon” or “ipon” #2 where the move ends in a Judo throw and then can be turned into a Brazilian Ju-jitsu form of lock if need be.
When starting out Ju-jitsu my dad found the class, it was meant to just be for me to protect myself after being chocked in 6th grade but I would have never thought that on top of that, I would also become more self-disciplined and adult for the rest of my life. Through this class, have seen myself evolve as a person, not only in regards of defense but in just going through life as well. I have gone from a very easy to anger kid to an adult who knows how to control his own anger towards people, making me a better person in return. In regards to defense though, I have learned much in my time. I have learned hand to hand defense as well as stick/bat, knife, and gun. I thankfully have not done anything with these skills and I hope that throughout my life I can leave these skills to myself.
I have become a much more positive and adult person as my years go by and I have loved every second of my experience. I know that this will continue in one form or another and I will be glad to come back from college to attend the class again after so long. I will never forget my time with this class and all the ups and downs that we have gone through as not only a group, but what I would call a family of sorts. I can’t wait to see what happens with the future of the class, no matter what happens, I know it will be for the benefit of everyone.
– Kyle F.