About Me

151004_JLW_02_GreenRI am a middle-aged matron who began training in Karate in June of 2014 after 27 years away from the art. I’m told I will always be a beginner because I will always be learning something new. That’s what I love about Karate. Maybe you’ll learn something from reading my blog or perhaps you’ll be reminded of something you’ve already learned.Β  Enjoy!

40 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. I recently came across your blog through the Martial Arts Woman blog. I never subscribed to anyone’s blog before but since I’m a fan of the martial arts (having been in Kosho Ryu Kempo 11 years ago) I thought these two would be interesting reading. I’ve always wanted to return to martial arts. I kind of feel like I have some unfinished business or maybe I just want to have that sense of accomplishment. Not to mention having fun again. Maybe it will happen, going to leave that door open for now. Anyway congratulations on the blog and continued success with everything you take on. Will be checking back here. All the best for 2015 and beyond.

    1. Welcome, Steve!

      Sensei Andrea is one of my best Internet acquaintances πŸ™‚ She urged me to start my own blog πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by, reading and subscribing (the best compliment of all)! Unfinished business – I can understand that, it’s one reason why I’m committed to learning for as long as I’m physically able. Hopefully I’ll get to shodan and beyond πŸ™‚ Yes, it is fun – and I’m having more fun than ever. Thanks for the well wishes, and I hope you find a place to train soon. I had a list of excuses a mile long, finally just decided to take the plunge and haven’t looked back since. I hope your martial arts dreams come true!!!

  2. I shared this on the Martial Arts Woman’s blog and thought I’d post it on here as well. Too good not to spread it around. A friend posted this on Facebook, what the words: Fail, End and No really mean. Wish I thought of this 😎 Fail: First Attempt In Learning, End: Effort Never Dies, No: Next Opportunity. Sometimes we have to look deeper to see the positive in rather negative elements. Continued success with the blog and your Karate journey. As with Sensei Andrea (if I may call her that) all the best and full respect to you.

    1. Wow, Steve, thanks for sharing those acronyms! Best wishes to you too, and I hope you find someplace to train soon!

      1. Hi and greetings from a very cold Midwest. I sure took a much more intelligent mind than mine to come up with that. 😎 I’ve came across a Karate school on Facebook a while back that I might be interested in. It’s a different style than what I took up before but I’m up for a challenge. The thing is that it’s about 45 minutes away from me, give or take. And with me working 3rd shift 5 nights a week, it might be hard. But again I’m willing to try. I’ll probably wait until after the Winter because in that part of the area it can get brutal, weather wise. Plus I’ll have to take the interstate just to get there in quicker time. So for right now it’s on the backburner. I keep checking back on their Facebook page to see the latest. Hopefully I can make this happen. It’s no fun being a couch potato. Besides I’ll have more to bring to the conversation table. As always, continued success. Be safe, all the best and full respect.

      2. Hello again, Steve! Really glad you have a prospect for a new school. I switched styles myself, and I’m amazed how persistent the muscle memories are even after a hiatus of over a quarter century. Most of the “old” muscle memories serve me very well indeed, but there’s still one block that’s giving me fits even after six months – fortunately I am getting better and better all the time with the “new” way of doing it. I’m forced to be a couch potato this week due to an injury, and I am absolutely climbing the walls. Wishing you well as you find a solution to your scheduling challenges!

      1. Hi Rach. Please to meet you. Actually I saw this on Facebook. I’m not quite sure who’s it from but I thought it was too good not to share. I’m trying to be a bit more positive than I have been in the past. Especially this year since I’m hoping to return to Karate after a dozen years. Good luck with your training. Hopefully come warmer weather I can get back to Karate and bring something to the martial arts table. All the best and full respect.

  3. Wow! That’s too bad. Wishing you a complete and hopefully quick recovery. I know the feeling about being anxious in returning to something you enjoy. I hope that you will be able to post updates on how you are progressing. I think if I do this right, I might be able to balance the schedule. Trail and error. I saw their schedule are Adult classes (Tues., Thurs. 7-8pm) and Kata classes, my favorite (Wed., Friday 7-8pm). I’m sure I’ll have some of those nights off and well as vacation days so I think it will work out. It will be a long wait until this Winter is completely over. But I guess good things come to those who wait. Anyway, take care and recover. Will check back. All the best and full respect.

    1. Thanks, Steve – I’m thinking I might be able to manage driving tomorrow, but I probably *shouldn’t* do it!!! Thanks for your well wishes.

  4. Good morning. Hope you have a good weekend and all healed up. I bet you are anxious to get back to class. I’m, on the other hand, trying to shake off a cold that I got on my last day of vacation. Some timing. I did go to work Saturday night and managed to make it through. How I’ll never know. But I think I’m going to call off tonight. Hopefully I’ll be more 60 % better by Wednesday night. Usually all I need is a day or two to recover. Fortunately it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Just playing it safe, especially in the Winter here. Well anyway, I hope you can make it to class and enjoy. Be safe and take care. All the best and full respect.

    1. Thank you for asking! I’m a bit stiff, but am otherwise OK – thanks for asking! I’m going back on the mats today πŸ™‚ Oh that’s a bummer about your cold. Hope the vacation was good! Take care of yourself.

      1. Great to hear! Vacation was good until this cold. But I still some vacation days left so maybe next month I’ll use them And maybe this time I can stay healthy. Good luck today. All the best and full respect.

  5. I didn’t want to take up a lot of space on Sensei Andrea’s blog in answering your last statement. The Curly t-shirt was a Christmas gift from my brother a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I think I’ve worn it out or close to it. 😎 No I don’t have any other shirts with the rest of the stooges or Marx Bros. although that’s not a bad idea. Just goes to show that I’m “old school”. Well I hope you are having a great weekend. I’m still hoping to return to Karate so I can contribute as part of the “family” instead of an outsider. 😎 Good luck with the training. Keep us posted. All the best and full respect,

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m sure it’s a valuable resource for you but I’m dyslexic and learn best from live people – especially if I can watch from different angles or, best of all, get my hands on ’em πŸ™‚

  6. I find your story such an inspiration. To return to an art after 27 years takes an entirely different level of dedication. I myself started learning Karate at the age of three, and at around 13 I switched to the teachings of the Gyokku Ninja Clan (http://gyokku-ninja.com), a far eastern martial culture that my grandfather had some influence with. But the foundation I received from karate has stayed with me throughout my life – I believe that I still have more grace and can learn new techniques more easily because of my training in karate.

    When you returned to karate, did you find that old skills returned easily – I mean, did your body and mind subconsciously remember old lessons? I’m curious.

    I look forward to doing a lot of reading on your wonderful blog. Thank you for writing!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading! Only the kihon stayed with me after 27 years. I was told to go ahead and test for 10th kyu using the Hayashi-ha Shito-ryu kihon and then make the switch to Shindo Jinen-ryu kihon. The test was only 21 days after my first day of class and my Senseis knew I didn’t need to be bogged down with the newbies, so they just let me follow along. After earning 10th kyu I was moving better and thus was ready to switch over to Shindo Jinen-ryu kihon. So – it took me about 18 months to catch up to the equivalent of where I once was (based on the katas I had to learn). At not quite two years of training I am definitely a good bit beyond where I once was. Anyway, I appreciate you stopping by, and thanks for the compliments!

      1. Thank you for the reply, Joelle – I am deeply interested in your experiences, and indeed find your journey very inspiring. My own masters often said that for up to five years, the mind and body retain knowledge and function so that one can refrain from training for that period and still go back and regain the old levels very quickly.

        After 27 years, 18 months to catch up is very good. Anyway, I enjoy your writing very much, and am having lots of fun reading through your old posts. Take care.

      2. You are very kind! That’s interesting about retaining things for five years – at my age sometimes I have trouble retaining things for five minutes, LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  7. Hi Joelle, this is Tsukuda – sorry for my absence – I was a bit busy forging a sword. Yes, really πŸ™‚ I can show it to you, if you like – it’s beautiful.

    Anyway, that’s rather off-topic. I was recently discussing your blog with friend of mine, and from there we got to discussing the benefits of traditional martial arts training across all age groups and personal training capacities. My friend is a BJJ exponent, and several times european champion, so it was interesting to get his point of view of the benefits of training for those who DON’T enter the dojo with championships in mind. And it seemed to us that the traditional martial arts provide a time of stability and focus to people of all ages – the time in the dojo becomes an appreciation for method, for perseverance, for learning an appreciation of skill and technique over brute force, for learning grace in movement – and this can be true as much for a child, as for a person past sixty. I actually prefer this rich culture of training and focus over the training for championships that is the focus of sport-arts like kickboxing.

    1. No problem, Tsukuda – I’d love to see the pictures of your sword! And yes, I have definitely found benefit in the rigors of kihon, the depth of kata, and the strategic thinking needed for kumite. I think I’d get bored rather quickly with a sport art. That said, I do enjoy tournaments πŸ™‚

  8. Hello!

    I noticed a comment from you on Sensei Ando’s site about how you were 5’5″ and could kick a 6 foot person in the face πŸ™‚ so I came to look at your site, and I was pleasantly surprised by your story!

    I started the martial arts in college, put in an intense 10 years until life and career got in the way. The loss felt like the worst breakup I ever had. Now, many years later, after a health scare, I decided to see what I could still do. I’ve been training for the past year. It was pretty rough in the beginning, even though I have stayed in very good shape for my life, but slowly those muscle memories that I thought were dead, were only mostly dead, and it’s been a great voyage back to the past so far. The biggest problem I have is a lack of flexibility and injuries I get (like calf, hamstring, and groin pulls) from trying so hard to get flexible, not to mention from hits from younger whippersnappers, lol


    Dr. J

    1. Thanks for stopping by! So glad you’re back in the swing of things. Don’t rush the flexibility, my friend πŸ™‚ Hmm, well, I’ve got a sore spot just below my left eye from a gentleman older than me, so it’s not just the young whippersnappers who can hit πŸ™‚ Have fun with your training and thanks for reading and commenting!

      1. I'd like to add a link to . Here anyone can go and see for themselves how Government – in particular since Clinton – has fudged the statistics in order to give the impression that everything is fine and dandy.It isn't, and this is going to hurt!

  9. I think nice post and thanks. Family martial arts and karate academy, San Antonio is easily accessible and too much in demand. A healthy parent can raise a healthy child, is the belief.

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