so, as some of you may or may not know i practice a martial art called arnis. i've been involved with it since i started college way back in 2006. now, i have learned a lot of things; how to hit dudes with sticks, how to not get hit by sticks, things like that. i've been able to help teach the class, been able to pass along some of my own knowledge. it's been an absolutely wonderful experience that i would highly recommend to anyone who has even the slightest interest. it helped me a lot with self-confidence among other things. all in all, it was an excellent decision.
and as a kind of 'thank you' to our instructor for teaching us and passing along all kinds of knowledge, every year our club gets him a christmas present. one year we got him some nice tea, along with a nice tea set. another year we got him some nice training weapons. this year we gave him a nice set of kendo armor and some associated gear. but this year i wanted to do something else, something a little more personal. now granted, i'm not skilled at making things, and i don't have a lot of money to spend on lavish gifts, so i wrote him a poem. it's about things i've learned through the years, not techniques or drills, but more philosophical things i guess, more along the lines of life lessons.
face your life head on, straight
backed, controlled, and proud.
only raise fist in defense,
never hate nor rage.
remember that fear does not mean weak,
running in the face of it does.
courage and bravery are both decisions
and it's up to you to choose.
step not from your holy ground
let no foe profane
and when you finally leave this world,
leave behind good name.