Martial Arts School

Ever since I stopped training TaeKwonDo, there has been a huge void in my life that has been difficult to fill. Martial Arts are so much more than what most people might think. The saying for the people that have practiced a martial art is that it is a way of life or “Do”. Well, I am going to start the difficult journey once again (Finding another martial art school that is) some day. In the mean time I want to give my thoughts in the subject and hopefully help others.

Finding a Martial Arts school is not so much about finding the best facilities, or the most popular art at the moment. You can always count on an ancient martial art becoming the latest fad, which is kind of ironic in a sense. To me finding the best Martial Arts school requires finding the best Master. I found the best teacher in the world, he is now a very good friend of mine, but I have moved out of the area and I still need to get back to training. It is not a requirement but hopefully finding the right school for you will also mean finding a good master.

I want to start with defining what this little article is not. You are not going to find a “What is the best martial art” information here. That is a whole other topic that is extremely subjective. I am going to try and look at the subject of finding a martial art school in an objective way. Even though in this guide I will touch on different arts a little bit, it is not meant to be a “how to choose a martial art guide”. To me that is the wrong approach to martial arts. Also this guide is for the beginner that wants to start looking for a local school. If you have your heart set on a style, then find the best teacher regardless of location.
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Mr. Marchal, who has been kind of quiet in recent days has come back and tagged me to do a meme. Since I am a gentleman and reply to challenges here are my answers.

1. Name something you are doing now which you would never had thought possible when you were 16.
I never dreamed when I was 16 that I would be writting in a regular basis. I never kept a journal of any kind, and now look I am a blogger.

2. The last totally useless thing you bought:
I really don’t buy that much stuff, and even when I do it has to go through a methodical process of review reading, online pricing and just overall geekiness about it. Last truly useless thing I bought would have to be…

3. A nickname of mine nobody uses any longer:
Gato – Cat in Spanish, that was my High School nick name back in Colombia and it is no longer in use.

4. A major aim in your life your are still hoping to achieve:
Get married and have a couple of children; also be Solvent, rich would be nice but solvent is my aim.

5. The most stupid thing you did as a child:
I tried to fix my AC Adapter for my Atari 2600 when I was probably around 9. Since I had no idea what an AC adapter was or what electricity meant, I just pretty much put live current into the Atari and it smoked ala mission impossible.

6. A poster I had in my room (which might even be slightly emebarassing today)
I never really had my own room growing up, so no posters… that saved me from embarrasment I guess.

7. Your “biggest” appearance in the media (TV, radio, newspaper)

My name has been mentioned in the paper a couple of times back in my highschool days, besides that nothing.

8. Associations or Clubs I belonged to as a child:

9. Your favorite joke at the moment:
Tony posted some funny stuff.

10. Where do you know the person who tagged you for this from?
The blogsphere.

As for tagging somebody: Cielo, Pol, Evil Atari, April and Mo… would you like a try?

Chinese Wisdom – Precepto Chino

Version en Español abajito!

I received a chain letter like many others that clutter our inboxes every day. But this one was one that I do want to pass along. While the winning the lottery promise is always a good one, I think this little letter reminds us of something that we should already know.

Chinese Wisdom about Money.

Money can buy a house, but not a home,
Money can buy a watch, but not time.
Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
Money can buy a book, but not knowledge.
Money can pay a doctor, but not buy health.
Money can buy you position, but not respect.
Money can buy blood, but not life.
Money can buy sex, but not love.

I think that posting this counts as forwarding it, so I expect my good fortune to come soon!

Version en Español Read more Chinese Wisdom – Precepto Chino


Sorry for the mini hiatus, it was not intentional, the last three days have been very rough. Cielo‘s Grandfather just past away Friday morning of a heart attack. She lost both of her Grandfathers within six months, but this one hurt a little bit more because it was so unexpected. What I have been feeling during this last couple of days cannot even be compared to what Cielo has been feeling. I am not the kind of person that exaggerates people’s kindness or positive traits after they have left this world, but Cielo’s “Grampa” was just one of the most positive, kind and just fun people that I have ever met. Even though I had only known him for short period of time, I got to feel how warm of a person he was and I feel lucky that I got to spend some time with him while he was alive.

Funerals are not easy. In my life I have only attended a handful of them. All the funerals had their memorable moments. I do not like thinking about death; in all honesty, I am very scared about death and aging. Being once again at a funeral today I did finally learned a lesson that has been resonating in my head over the last year. Live every single day like it was your last.

Contacto Humano – Human Contact

English version below

Las diferencias culturales entre regiones geográficas son enormes. He encontrado muchas diferencias entre la ciudad de Chicago en Illinois y Midland Michigan. Se pueden imaginar como serán de distintos dos países. Una de las diferencias que más me a afectado personalmente es el contacto personal.

Es costumbre en algunas familias latinas de saludarse de beso en la mejilla. Hasta entre hombres es muy normal un beso, o por lo menos un caluroso abrazo. Mi Papa y yo tuvimos un tiempo que estábamos trabajando el uno cerca del otro. De vez en cuando nos encontrábamos para almorzar juntos en restaurantes en el área. Un día llegamos ambos casi al mismo tiempo y parqueamos los carros uno al lado del otro. Cuando cerramos las puertas y nos dirigíamos hacia la entrada del restaurante como siempre nos dimos un abrazo y un beso en la mejilla. Algo normal en un saludo de padre a hijo, bueno o por lo menos los dos pensábamos eso.

Nos sentamos, charlamos y comimos. Cuando salíamos note a mi Papa un poco consternado. Le pregunte que le pasaba, y le note en la mirada duda. Cuando me empecé a preocupar me dijo, “un tipo en el restaurante no hacia sino mirarnos y hasta me pico el ojo.” Yo en ese momento me cague de la risa. En ese momento me acorde de que cuando llegamos nos saludamos de beso y bueno, a una persona de acá de los estados unidos le debió haber parecido ese comportamiento algo “gay.” Aunque me parece casi imposible que alguien que vea mi Papa y a mi juntos no nos haga familia, si entiendo la deducción que esa personal hizo. Porque, bueno porque acá en los Estados Unidos el contacto humano es mínimo, y con personas que nos son familiares es casi no existente.

Otro ejemplo es ir a cine con amigos. Si uno se sienta en la silla directamente al lado de otro hombre automáticamente es considerado homosexual. Es algo que me parece triste porque acá las personas tienen mínimo contacto personal, hasta el punto que usted puede pasar un día entero sin tocar a otro humano. Darle la mano por lo menos a su jefe puede que solo pase una vez en su vida, el día que lo entrevistaron. Esto lo he experimentado en carne propia.

En Colombia uno esta acostumbrado a saludar a las amigas de beso, y a los amigos de mano. La mayoría de las veces que usted va a interactuar con otro humano, usted los toca. En esta sociedad eso en realidad no pasa, he conocido gente a la cual nunca le he ni siquiera dado la mano. En las familias americanas he observado que entre ellos mismos solo las parejas se muestran afección, un beso o un abrazo a los hijos que por ejemplo ya no viven en la casa nunca pasa.

Siempre me ha parecido la gente en los Estados Unidos mucho más fría que la gente en Colombia. ¿Será la causa de esto que les hace falta el contacto humano?

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