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Year in Review 2015

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There have also been great achievements this year! Too many to name all of them. Some that everyone one was able to witness like Belt Testings, 15 min / 30 min / Hour Clubs, 10 Round and promotions. Those were great! There have also been many other personal goals achieved, many of which we may never see. For all of these, I want you to know that we are proud of you. The most central theme and most important concept of MKG International is Personal Discovery and Personal Growth. So, whether your accomplishments were seen by many or just by you, they are all important steps to your personal development and just stepping stone to the greater things ahead. So as, good friend of mine, is known to say, “Keep Going, You Matter!”

We were honored to have some wonderful guest instructors share their perspectives on their passions. We were thankful to be able to host

2015 has come to an end and 2016 is already on its way!

Looking back and reflecting on the previous year is a mentally healthy activity (or so I am told). If nothing else, it gives us a chance to remember all of the wonderful things that happened in the past year, maybe get some symbolic closure the challenges, and then move forward with new and positive outlook.
The longer I am involved with teaching martial arts the more I realize that it is not so much about punching and kicking. Sure that is a great part, but the most important part is about the relationships that you make while doing the punching and kicking. Those bonds that are forged through sweat, tears and sometimes blood last a lifetime. So I would like to first reflect on those relationships.  

MKG Madison has seen more new faces this year than any previous year. For this I am thankful. The greatest thing about MKG Madison is the people.  So thank you to all of the new families that have joined us in 2015. We are so happy that you are here. Your presence make all of us better people. You are what allows the arts to continue. Guro Rick said something many years ago that has stuck with me, “ Beginners are the HEART of the art, without them the arts will die”. I believe that wholeheartedly . So thank you for carrying these arts and allowing them to live and continue growing.

We have also welcomed back some familiar faces. Life sometimes has a way of guiding us in different directions. Sometimes those directions cause a bit of a separation. I have been so blessed to see familiar faces from the past find their way back to MKG Madison. That means that people know that they always have a home here, regardless of where your life guides you. One of our greatest goals is to nurture a love and joy for the martial arts, something that you can alway go back to no matter where you life leads you. I know that things can never stay the same, but I also know that things have a funny way of coming full circle. So I just want to make sure to say “Welcome back.”

We have also seen some faces find a different path. We were sad to see them go. The reasons for the changes may have been great like, expanding families and new jobs in new locations. While others may just be needing to change for a while. Either way, I want you to know that your faces are missed, and you will always have a home here. We welcome your return if your path leads you back.

Guro Rick for the 4th time and our first 2 day event. It was awesome. It was great to see everyone packed in our gym and having a great time. We were also honored to have Guro Diana back to do a Women’s Self Defense seminar in August. It is alway good to have Di here because she is an awesome example for all martial artist but especially female martial artists. Her determination and passion for what she does always shines through. We also welcomed John Salter for a Silat Seminar. It is alway great to see a good friend grow into doing great things. You can definitely count on more of the same in 2016.

So now that we have looked back, let’s look forward!

2016 is shaping up to be another great year for MKG Madison. As always, we are tweaking our curriculums to make sure that both our Youth and Adult Programs are fresh, exciting and moving forward. We are looking forward to offering more challenges to step to, different Hour club formats, Single level testings and more. Speaking of testings, we will be making some changes in how we administer our adults testings to give you best input on your personal development, but more on that later. We will be  offering more in house workshops, hosting more seminars and keeping you informed on opportunities to train. It is going to be an awesome year.

On a personal note, this year has been a year of drastic ups and downs for me. My family and I have gone through some challenging stuff this year. I just want you to know that we are fighting the same fights as you, maybe just in a different ring. We have had some great opportunities for learning, whether through triumph or setbacks.  We know that this all a part of being alive. I am thankful for each and every experience because it helps me to discover a little more about myself. These discoveries are opportunities to grow. The alternative is to fade away. I chose to grow, it may be in a different way than I thought, but it is still growth just the same. With all of that said, I am still “Living the Dream” and you are all a big part of that. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Thank you to you and your families! I appreciate all our hard work and dedication to yourselves and to MKG Madison! I am looking forward to 2016 and another year of discovery and growth.

Happy New Year!

Train Safe, Train Hard, Have Fun!

Josh