And Still…

Bruce Buffer

The two words that every announcer says when someone retains a title in sports like boxing, mixed martial arts, or even professional wrestling. “And still.”

A champion battles inside a ring or cage and the audience is told they are still the person who is at the top of their game. The fighter has not been defeated despite having been challenged.

Since opening on Sept.7, 1999, we have seen financial recessions and even a global pandemic. I was diagnosed with cancer and endured chemotherapy treatments. We have seen students and staff come and go.  And still, we carry on.

A popular quote that I like is “a black belt is a white belt who doesn’t quit”.

This means that if you keep coming to class and you keep training, your knowledge and experience will increase which will result in advancements in rank. The secret to moving up in the martial arts world isn’t really all that mystic. All you must do is keep training and not stop.

When I started Okami Kai I had no students.  I taught the first official class with only 7 on the roster after I started advertising to get them. We’ve come a long way since then, but we didn’t quit.  Now, we’re almost 25 years old and we have a little more than 7 people enjoying our programs.

I’m writing this for two reasons. The first is to let you know that we’re not planning on going anywhere soon.  We have conquered obstacles and tough times. Some were way harder to deal with than others.  And still, we’re striving to bring out the best in ourselves and in others by using martial arts and fitness as a tool.

The second is to thank you. Thank you for putting your trust in us. Some of our students have been training with us for longer than others, but each of you count. On the days when we don’t feel like fighting, you’re the reason we keep going. The reason why we know what a bad day is like is because our students and their families have given us so many awesome ones where we feel like we can take on the world. You inspire us to do our best. You fuel us with your positive energy and support, and it means everything to us.

We have battled problems together AND STILL, we are champions.  Two important words…THANK YOU.