Yeah, that’s me. I know you’re saying that pretty obvious but the story goes beyond the martial arts.

So, back about 30 years and almost a high school graduate, I visited an Air Force recruiter with the intent of enlisting to become one of their law enforcement officers. Well, I was told that I couldn’t join. My eczema was an automatic disqualification. That was not fun and I chose not to agree with the rationale, so I visited an Army recruiter. Yeah, I got the same answer.

Unconsciously, I guess I gravitated into the martial arts due to this disappointment. Looking back, I can put a label on it. I wanted to be part of the something greater than myself and serve my community. Yeah, there were parts like the mines shutting down so there were no jobs and wanting to get out of the small town, but those were only the surface reasons.

The desire to serve the community has helped me expand my passion for the martial arts into teaching. I know that, if I had been able to join, I would have been career military. The chance to help others to develop their skills (for use in life beyond the mat), to see the strength in principles like integrity, courtesy and perseverance.

Which brings me to the end of my ramble. I have been jealous of my nephew, Scott, for the work he’s done and the success he’s had. Scott joined the Navy and became a Master Dive Instructor (I think I’ve got the title right). So, Scott, I’m very proud of you and wished that I could have done as much. I hope that I can partially meet the standards and qualities that you’ve established.

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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