I clearly remember the positive feeling when I first entered the Great Hall of Academy Of Kempo Martial Arts in October 1996. After the first meeting with the chief instructor, I was not sure if I wanted to join due to the time commitment it requires being on a full schedule, already working 60 hours a week. The instructor told me to sleep on it and tell him the next day.
However, when I went home that night I completely forgot about it since I received an unexpected phone call announcing the death of my 20 years old nephew in a car accident. His name was Simon. The next morning I woke up with this vivid image of the sign above the Academy Of Kempo Martial Arts Studio: Grand Master Simon Academy Of Kempo Martial Arts. I immediately made the link with my nephew's name Simon and knew I had to join; I did it in his honor. Since then, when I enter the Great Hall, he is always in my hart.
I never regretted my decision. Academy Of Kempo Martial Arts taught me more than what I was expecting. I wanted to practice a martial art for the physical benefits of course but also to learn about the history and spiritual side of the art. I found all of these things over the years but also found a lot more unexpected benefits. My health improved, my level of confidence, my awareness, my reflexes, my level of concentration, my patience. Above all I met genuinely good people, students and instructors sharing the same values of hard work, loyalty and perseverance to name just a few. Those people are my friends here in Edmonds but also in all the other studios as I had the chance to meet people from all across North America during my visits to the Temple Land.
I was privileged to meet Grand Master Simon and Misses Simon in several occasions, that I consider extremely valuable moments. I also have the great honor to train with Master Jones. I couldn't ask for a better place to be.