I started doing karate 15 years ago this week. Fifteen years with Douvris Martial Arts. I don't know what I used to do before 2001, but I sure am glad I found them. (OK, OK, I didn't really "find" them - my husband was already with them after his sister and her family had joined and he bugged me so much to try it that eventually I did. One of my best decisions.) Now all three daughters do karate as well, and two of them are in the leadership program.
That, by the way, is one of the greatest things about our school. I was just chatting with Master John Douvris about that this morning, about how important it is to teach young people how to become decent mentors and teachers, and I'm very grateful for the learning opportunities my daughters get there. It's especially important for us since we homeschool - karate is part martial arts, part learning opportunity where Mom isn't doing all the teaching, and part socializing as they make great friends there in a very positive and healthy environment.
There are a lot of martial arts schools out there, but this one to me feels like family. (Yes, sometimes I get shouted at. But I'm pretty sure it's for my own good.)
Anyhow. We're always happy to have more students so if you're in the Ottawa area and would like to give this a try, let me know. In the meantime, I'll celebrate with a wee bit of dark chocolate and a bunch of hard workouts because that is how we roll.