This afternoon I’m headed off to a celebration for a friend who earned his 4th Dan yesterday, and is now Master Duval.

Yesterday, there was a promotion ceremony where 6 people achieved master’s level. 4 were recognized for 6th or 7th Dan. 1attained their 8th Dan. Master Yordan and his father were bother there. Master Dunlavey promoted his wife to 4th, and for a brief time, there were two Master D’s. briefly. That is until Grand Master Dion announced that it was now to be Grand Master Dunlavey, and that he was being awarded his 8th Dan.

I look at the people there I connect with most (whether testing or supporter), and I find the one thing that most inspires me is their graciousness and genuineness. Sure, they have pride in what they have done. Pride. Not ego and persona.

Hearing the people there talk about their martial arts journey and family, I thought about my own start. Master Stephen Barrett and Master Twing – Both teaching me about the history, the philosophy, the art, not just the sport.

One day, this time, I know I will make it to black belt. I’m on a different journey than I was then.

I will never be the best technician. The best in sparring. The best in jump spinning reverse 540 reflex kicks. But what I can be, what I can work on every single day, is being the best, most passionate, most genuine me that I can be.