I graduated from the University of Waterloo 15 years ago. Yes, you guys may think "what a great accomplishment!" In a way I guess it was, but I barely passed my last year, and it took me 5 years to receive a 3 year degree that I don't give a crap about. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against school or formal education! It just wasn't for ME. Growing up in a traditional Asian family, I never had the choice not to go to University. So I did it anyways just to please my parents.
Shortly after graduation, between sitting on my ass playing World of Warcraft and watching TV, my long lost childhood passion for Martial Arts was reignited once I began watching PRIDE FC, a MMA organization based out of Japan. Inspired by fighters like Wanderlei Silva, Kid Yamamoto, and Fedor, I decided to search online for fight gyms in Kitchener. There were few selections but I remember stumbling onto a muay thai gym called TKO Fighting Arts. The website was pretty simple, but what caught my eye was how “raw” the fighters and gym looked in the photos. There was no glitz and glamour, just toughness...I needed toughness.
When I told my friends about this, one of them (let's call him John) did not sugar coat how he felt about my new found interest. “Dude, there’s no way you're gonna hang with these guys. You’re just some university kid, you know how tough you gotta be to fight? You won’t be able to do it.” These words of his still linger with me today.
I don’t know where I found the courage to even consider such a sport. Maybe it was because I was fed up feeling like a nobody and desperately hoped that muay thai was going to be something that could give me direction and purpose. I decided to go try my luck with a trial class…After the session, I was hooked. I never could have imagined that my simple decision to start muay thai would eventually send me down a path of unbelievable adventures and self-discovery.
So to everyone reading this; go out there and try something new! It might be scary, it might be hard, at times you may even want to quit...but do it anyways. See you in the next post.
On a side note, many years later I did end up cutting John out of my life. We don’t need friends like John in our lives.