My martial arts journey began a few years before I even set foot on the mat. My oldest son began his journey to black belt at age 7, in 2015, and achieved his first degree black belt at age 11, in the spring of 2019.
Watching him, and eventually his two younger brothers, learn and practice this new discipline in a way that was engaging and fun got me hooked, too. I began applying their lessons to my own life, even though all I had to go on was what I could absorb from my seat on the sidelines.
In late summer of 2018, I finally took my first class, and my learning deepened beyond what I could have imagined. I am testing my physical limits along with my mental and emotional stamina. I earned my first degree black belt in 2021, and I've also become an instructor. I am growing into a better version of myself every day as a result of this experience. I love inspiring others to grow and realize their own potential, too!
... & Crafts ?
I have always been an artist. Creating and expressing myself visually has always been one of my core values. It has allowed me to connect with others in exciting ways, and also to process my own feelings and thoughts about myself and the world around me. Bringing my creativity with me onto the mat allows me to be even more authentic in my martial arts practice.
Here's some more of my story. My first martial arts visual art project was a series of 8"x10" canvas paintings. I created them for my son, based on the proprietary operating values of our karate school. Our family had been adopting these values as our own.
A year or two later, I partnered with our academy to offer prints for sale during the holidays. The following year, they invited me to collaborate on some new art.
Each time I've been inspired by and then created some art or crafts in this realm, I've come alive. So I kept going. I've written poetry, woven bracelets and baskets, and I have several other projects in the works.
I'm currently working on some crafts involving unused belts that would otherwise be going into the trash, using an interesting new medium and reducing waste and the environmental impact of our academy. I'm excited to continue perfecting my designs and eventually offer them for sale. In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy the process with me.
If you are interested in a custom martial arts piece for yourself or a family member, please let me know. I would love to collaborate and come up with something uniquely tailored to your/their experience.