I've been fascinated with the movements and the mind-body-spirit connection in martial arts since I was pretty young. When karate first came to the small town I grew up in (Wasaga Beach, Ontario - Population 4600) I was given the choice of studying that or keep playing hockey. I couldn't do both.
I was too head-over heels in love with hockey. These were the Wayne Gretzky in his prime with the Oilers days and I was a little kid with a hockey stick in his hand. (Even to this day I still have the number 99 attached to the end of my signature.) There was no choice. Hockey is the funnest game ever. I'm sad I can no longer do it
Despite that choice of hockey over karate, I still didn't stop my fascination with martial arts. When you see what Zen Buddhist Shaolin Monks can do with their bodies when they cultivate and raise their qi through iron qi gong in their Kung Fu...it's absolutely awe-inspiring! The thought of being able to stick a spear in a guy's throat and not break the skin is nuts, but shows what we are all capable of! Everything about it is pure beautiful artistry!
(I highly recommend going to REO's and renting, "Shaolin; The Wheel of Life." It is a stage performance of those monks telling a story of Kung Fu through movement. Good-gawd it's incredible!
That's what really opened my mind to the potential of the human body...plus the movements are so poetically graceful. I wanted to study Kung Fu so badly.
Of course, my body fell to pieces and took all that away from me before I ever got the chance. That love and desire never wavered in my heart though, and it started me onto a thought I still hold strong:
"Everybody should study an Eastern Art...whether martial or yogic."
The possibilities that a human can achieve if properly trained with focused discipline is an almost insane idea. It's one of the major ways I feel ripped off with my shitty body because it has held me back from tapping my true potential I know that lives inside me. It doesn't matter what I ever do in life, I will always feel on the short side of my potential and it drives me crazy every day.
(I'd like to properly give yoga a shot, but I can only do it privately because of the state of my body doesn't work in a class. Private yoga 4-5 days a week requires serious cha-ching though!
All the garbage with my gibbled body aside, my feelings on studying an Eastern Art hold true. I am always into people who really pursue that in their lives, and I am very encouraging and supportive of it.
A buncha years ago, 8 or 9 or somethin' like that, I was talkin' with my friend, Al. She told me that her daughter, Willow, who wouldda been about 9 or 10ish, had just started into karate. Naturally I was psyched...and very inquisitive about it all!
(Willow in 2009. I love her...this won't be the last you hear about her.)
Willow was studying with Sensei Keith of the Nelson Kyokushin Karate club after school. There were classes twice a week. Al was only able to pick up Willow one of the days though, so she could only go once. As soon as Al told me that, I didn't hesitate to offer to drive Willow home so she could go to both classes if she wanted to. I thought it was great.
(Haha...Sensei Keith wondered who random guy was that showed up to class shuttling Willow around.)
I took Willow to a year end party too at Sensei Keith's house too. Somewhere in there is where I first met Christopher as he was also a student.
(Surprise, surprise...he's amazing with kids. Christopher with Hailey in 2011)
I got to know Christopher casually better because he has long been one of Paul's guys when he puts on his smokin' shows at The Capitol Theatre. He has also become a fixture as security at so many events we all know and love.
(Paul is my bro who picked me up at the hospital after I had surgery and made me stay at his house. He is that guy in my life.)
(Lookkit that freakin' guy! Yeaaah!
Photo: Prettylips Danceyhips Photography ( www.facebook.com/PRTLIPSDNCYHIPS )
Christopher has always struck me as a really good guy right from the start. It's never not good to see him.
I've consciously observed over the passing years how much of a respected person he is by so many...not just around town, but all over the place. It doesn't matter if it's him in person, or online, or what you hear word-of-mouth, I think there is a general consensus from a large amount of people who feel the same way I do:
"Christopher is a fuckin' solid guy!"
(There he is being Awesome as usual!)
I can usually expect to see him at one of Paul's shows I go to, which has become something I have come to appreciate as a part of the show...I might get to say hello. It's the only place I know the odds are good for connecting with him.
Shows aside, when I see Christopher it is always so random...which is really the case with everyone for me. It's great to see him though. Christopher elicits good in people. He brings a higher quality out of people. I've noticed that from him right from the start. The ability to be able to do that without even meaning to or trying is something special.
He's definitely on that pursuit of potential I mentioned. It's easy to see. It's easy to tell. He carries himself with a dignity that's pretty striking too.
There's a lotta crazy shit swirling in this world, but Christopher is like a pillar of kind ease. I like seeing him whenever the hell I do. Christopher is one of the good ones and I've never let that thought pass me by.
(Christopher often makes me think of cowboy movies...the barber guy with a pistol who'll always throw down if needed...so I wasn't surprised when I saw this photo. I pretty-much expected it without realizing it.)
Stuff Writin' About Kinda Guy
I am a simple guy who likes to dream of the impossible and go after it. I have found fun in writing about my journey as well as other things that inspire me too.