Getting my black belt was a long and difficult task, and the wait to get there was so much longer. I waited seven years for those five hours of testing, and by that time it wasn't such a bad experience. When I was 13 it had been planted inside my head that the final test was going to be a horrific kick in the ass.
The Way of the Fist
Nathan on the art of karate.
Fred Phillips is a good friend of mine, and a great mentor that helped me be the man I am today. I had a great father figure to look up to while I was growing up, as I still do, but Fred was one of those people outside of the family that anyone could go to for help. He taught me — and many others — discipline, confidence, and the respect that others deserve. These things were all taught by my parents, but he would teach it through much discipline and exercise. Every karate class was a challenge, an obstacle, to get through. I will be honest, at first I loathed the exercises, I didn’t enjoy going to karate every week. The tiresome evenings of pushups, forms, and running—so much running. But all of that changed, as I got older, the lessons and meanings were drilled into my head as the years went on. Especially out of high school I had loved going. It gave me something to do on Monday and Wednesday nights; there was always something there for me to learn.
I don’t remember exactly how I got there, but for some reason it made sense to me. The thoughts of going to school, going to work, hanging out with my amazing girlfriend, and going to bed with her all seemed to be so foreign; like some sort of dream. They couldn’t have been real; that strange place I found myself in was real to me. My mind told me so.
Meditation was always a part of our classes, as it was always a part of any kind of martial art. But my karate instructor didn't introduce discussion of spirituality until much later into my training.
Have you ever wondered what the Internet is doing to our brains? How it might be changing the way we think; our very minds? I think that Nicholas Carr (author best known by The Big Switch and Does it Matter) best describes how exactly the Internet, and other media, is changing our lives. Nicholas Carr not only explains the effects the Internet has on us, but also the other media that has been shaping our brains long before the computer was ever invented. He takes his readers on an informative journey through the years leading up to the creation of the Internet, and the change societies took with each step of the way.