If there is one thing I love it is martial arts. I have always been amazed by martial arts movies and hand to hand combat. Even as a kid, I would always be playing some kind of fighting game with my friends. I never thought back then that it would turn into a passion and give me some of my most unforgettable memories
I have always been somewhat active in martial arts, but I got very serious when I reached my first duty station Okinawa. Just as I was looking for a place to go train lightly for nothing more than a workout, my friend introduced me to Okinawan karate. I was amazed with this full contact sport. Actually, for most of these people, it was more of a way of life than just a sport. Training was very rough here, compared to many of the other places I have seen.
I trained at the dojo for about 6 months before the teacher put me up in my first tournament. The tournament was going to be a local tournament, and in my class there was only going to be 16 fighters. I was entered in as middle class heavyweight even though I only weighed 170 pounds. That is considered heavy weight for the Japanese. I trained long and hard everyday not knowing what to expect. I have had exhibition matches before but never had gone full blast against an opponent. The day came and I was as prepared as I could have been.
The first match was probably the hardest to get through. I was severely nervous. Probably at least a hundred set of eyes fixated on every move I made. Even before the referee started the fight I felt worn out. The starting went so slow I forgot everything...