Taking a look back at 2018
It’s taken me a bit to finally sit down a write my thoughts for 2018. It has been a year of extremes, miraculous highs and very difficult lows. I suppose that is how most years go.
Pain and Loss
2018 started with hearing of passing of the wife of someone very dear to me. We found out she was diagnosed with cancer in October of 2017. It was in the late stages but she was fighting. It seemed that things we getting better and then all of a sudden she was gone. Although I didn't really get to know her personally, I knew a lot of the people that had. Her passing was devastating to so many and I mourned with them.
Through this pain, a miraculous thing happened. The world wide MKG family circled the wagons in support and comfort for those in pain and grieving.
Pain and Victory
At about the same time this was happening, there was wife of an ANOTHER close friend that was diagnosed with cancer. We watched first hand as he and his family struggled with the realities of this horrible thing. They also fought for her life and this time they WON! She is now in remission and on the way to recovery. Again through this pain, a miraculous thing happened. MKG Madison family circled the wagons in support and comfort for those in pain and struggling.
With these two difficult times, the MKG Madison Family rallied together for a donation based seminar, Throat Punch Cancer. We collected a significant amount of money that when directly toward the medical expenses for those families. Again the MKG Family rose to the occasion.
We can rebuild him
This year also brought some very intense personal events. I was scheduled (yet again) for major hip surgery. Although, this was not the first time that I have had that surgery, it was still a big thing. It meant a long time away from our business, which could have been a significant setback. It also meant a lengthy recovery, in which I would not be able to teach or be in the gym. Through this surgery, it happened again. Family stepped up. Ruth and the kids went into overdrive in caring for me and covering things that I was not able to do. We received well wishes and support during my recovery for our worldwide MKG family. And our local MKG Madison family stepped up in a huge way, filling in teaching classes, help clean and maintain the gym and being so patient and understanding while I was recovering. You guys are awesome!
And then the rains came
In August, the Madison area experienced an unprecedented rainfall that caused major flooding in the area. Many people were affected by this flood including a good friend and fellow martial art school owner. While he was traveling overseas, his school was under several inches of water. It was devastating. He was not able to do anything about it until he returned. Again the MKG Madison family rallied. We held a small, but awesome workshop to benefit the rebuilding of his school. Even students that could not make the actual event donated to the cause! Not only did this help with the financial blow, it also allowed him to relax, train and de-stress for a few hours during the difficult rebuilding process.
Thanks to the support of his martial art family and the dedication he has to serving those families. His school is back up and running after being closed for several months.
The Gift of Life
In 2017, my uncle (who we are very close to) found out that he was quickly losing lung capacity. He had lived an healthy life and this caught everyone by surprise. His only option was a lung transplant. Due to how private a man my uncle is none of us really knew bad it was. In October, a miracle happened. The call came and there was a donor lung. Another family, that he may never know, give him another chance at life. The surgery went better than expected and so has his recovery. Although, there is a long road ahead and he will never be able to all the things that he one could, he is alive. Thanks to another person and their families gift.
The Big Trip
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was the MKG World Conference in Osaka, Japan. This had been a long time coming. It was the culmination of Guro Rick Faye and Takashi Uchino’s 30+ year dream, to bring the MKG Family to Japan. Unfortunately, Ruth and I, had resigned ourselves to the fact that it would be something that I would have to miss. We financially would just not be able to swing it. The MKG family (both here in Madison and worldwide), stepped up! As a matter of fact, it stepped up big. We were not the only ones in this position. There were 2 others that were in the same situation . A scholarship drive was set up and enough money was collected so that all 3 of us made the trip! It was amazing to be in a totally different culture on the other side of the world and feel so at home at the same time. Do you know what caused that fantastic paradox? Family. The MKG Family.
2019. . .
Ruth and I are so blessed to be a part of this family. 2007, I stumbled into MKG Minneapolis, sort of on accident, but I was not turned away. As a matter of fact, I was welcomed and MKG has been there for us ever since. The MKG Family created something that I couldn’t have even imagined. I am forever grateful for what you have sparked in me. Because of you, we have been able to grow this culture of community and family. We are so blessed to have all of our students and their families here at MKG Madison. You guys rock!
Our goal this year is to show our gratitude for all of your love and support by doing everything we can to let others know about you. Our MKG Family. We have plans to bring this very special martial art family to Madison and help our brothers and sisters around the world do the same in their areas.
2018 wasn’t done. . . .
As I was writing this, one of our MKG sisters has lost her Father on New Years Eve. I have no doubt that the MKG Family will do what it does. You will step up, love and support those that are hurting and in need.
So, what have I learned this year? Many things, though it isn’t so much about the new things that I have learned, but a confirmation of the things that I have known. It’s about family. Your immediate family, the family you choose and the family that chooses you.
Onward and Upward, MKG Family!
Train Safe, Train Hard and Have Fun in 2019