The cover photo for this entry was taken in May of 2015. I had just passed my first belt test for the martial art I train, aikijutsu. I train at Itten Dojo, in Mechanicsburg, PA. I became interested in martial arts as a means of self-defense. As my interest grew in eastern cultures and practices, my study of martial arts grew into a means of studying mindfulness and living a spiritual path. I enjoy cultivating my warrior spirit and feel this is an important part of my life dynamic to cultivate.
In this photo I am about 40 lbs heavier than I am now. Today I am a different man. Obtaining my first rank took me way outside my comfort zone. I twas uncomfortable. It hurt to grow. It was tough putting myself in a physically and mentally demanding environment where I knew nothing. I find that this practice sharpens the spirit.