Looking way back to a time when I drove across Canada to Vancouver Island and down the west coast to Mexico and diagonally back home, got stuck in the Outback and swam intentionally (and unintentionally) with sharks in Australia, dove the gorgeous coral reef off Roatan in Honduras, trekked in the Bhutanese Himalayas, taking pics of Buddhist temples (including ‘Tiger’s Nest Temple’.) 

I Rode a Tuktuk in the streets of Manila, a dugout through the floating market in Bangkok and an elephant in Thailand, a motorbike in the mountains of northern Vietnam and then cruised and swam in Halong Bay.  Rode the bullet train in Japan and among other things, watched a Sumo wrestling tournament in Tokyo.  Soaked in an Onsen at the base of Mt. Fuji, parasailed off Borocay in the Philippines, snorkelled and then shopped for art in Bali. 

I’ve seen the orangutangs in Borneo, the beautifully clean streets of Singapore and their abundance of flowers, watched the Muay Thai fights of Bangkok, seen the Grand Canyon, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower and watched whales in Nova Scotia from a Zodiac, deep sea fishing there, years earlier. 

I’ve had the great honour of experiencing karate training in Okinawa, New Mexico, New York, Dublin, Ireland, Florida and Gardena, California with wonderful teachers!  Had a career responding to various emergencies as a Fire Capt. in Toronto and raised two fine young men. 

 I cofounded a Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu Dojo in Oshawa, Canada.  Then onto an African Safari through the Tanzanian Serengeti to see the great migration, taught at an orphanage near the Ngorongoro crater providing even more adventure, and then visited the Louvre in Paris and Vimy Ridge in France. I have been very fortunate. 

The adventures related, were only enhanced by the Karate training I started long before I experienced any of the above!  Karate was the silver thread that connected all of these adventures and made them that much more enjoyable.   The self confidence and self reliance groomed throughout our training, spills out into our everyday life, allowing us to see colours more vividly and makes our other senses more acute. 

To experience other cultures, have adventures, meet new friends and being better able to relate to the rest of the world, is surely a wonderful adjunct of serious training in our art! 

Allow your training to percolate into all aspects of your life and enjoy the fulfillment within the moment!   

Gary Christensen - Godan. Renshi

Mushin Matsubayashi Karatedo