Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 1630: A guy I call Apeman.

"lifeguards", old photo, collage & digital

I guess it's story time, but it's all true.


Back when I was teaching, 
a lovely lady brought her precocious 7 year old son to me.
Michael had tried but hadn't enjoyed team sports, so she thought this might be a fit.
It was. 
Karate is an individual pursuit 
in a team environment.
Students are tested individually and progress at their own rate 
while have fun learning. 
Skills are learned & developed.
One necessity is a draw-hand.
Michael had a tendency to have a lax draw-hand, and I nicknamed
him "apeman".
The name has become legend
and he often uses it as a threat when teaching others,
clarifying that he is the original.

The family moved away,  but Apeman returned 
as soon as he could drive. 
Training with us through high school & college.

After a terrible fatal accident in 2010
resulting in the fatality of his dear friend 
Michael faced hard & life-changing years of his young life.

Two years of rehab, court hearings, 
he graduated from CSUF with a Japanese major.
Then the passing of his Mother from cancer, 
followed by 2 years in prison.

He knew he had to set goals, new goals.
While in jail he kept a journal, a log of physical goals 
and vowed to document each day.
The result is a book now published & on Amazon.

"Painting a picture with words one glance at a time. In August of 2010 I made very poor and stupid decisions that led to the death of a beautiful and talented young woman. As a result, I was ordered by the court to spend a year in a rehabilitation center followed by two years of incarceration in a detention facility. This book shows you nearly two years of my life as an inmate. For 720 days I sat in jail.  For 720 days I wrote while in jail. In a place where hours, days, and years became one endless blur; it is these glimpses that tell my story."

Back home with us now for two years, 
his life is taking shape.
Not what he had originally planned, 
but gradually moving forward. 
He still trains & is excellent at helping at Costa Mesa Dojo.

 Happy 31st Birthday Apeman!

A smile for Wednesday ...

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