The journey in / though colour belt was amazing. The training was very hard and rigorous. By the time I was Green Belt I was assisting teaching in a branch school in LaSalle and training as much as 2 hours per night. Chung Oh’s school was very tournament oriented so we spent many, many weekends on the road to different city to compete. The team aspect was great. We had a very strong school and friendships.
I did well competing, winning about 80% of the time. I was not a provincial level competitor like many of the students were. But there was no way I could dedicate the time needed to be one. We had some amazing fighters in the school. I did not enjoy this part of the art as much as my piers did, I love the teaching and the self defense aspects. I did not see a purpose to free sparring other then tournament.
Around the stage of Blue Belt Master Philip asked me if Curtis would like to join. He was there a lot, sitting in a chair at the back of the room, with a book or coloring. Sometimes just watching. In these days we did not take children till 7 or 8, Curt was 4 1/2. But in he went. What a mess it was! He was too young, but he loved it and tried very hard,a t first.
There was a rule for Curt being in the school. I was not to instruct him in any way. Master Philip took him under his wing. I did not contribute to Curt’s learning until he was 2nd Dan Black Belt, many, many years later.
Curt Mason and martial arts had a true love / hate relationship.
In 1988 I tested in Kitchener Ontario for my “assistant” Black Belt. A rank we still used today. In those days you were given a half red half black belt for this rank. The test began at 3:00 in the afternoon, and was finally finished everyone a little after midnight. it was in June that year, and Mr Oh’s school was on King Street on the 3rd floor of an old building. It was 90 degrees outside and 110 inside No AC…. But what an experience!
After returning to Windsor the following day I was informed by Master Philip I would be taking over running the LaSalle school as the current teacher Danny was being sent to London to take over a school there. Dreams were coming true.
More to come.