Last night I was at a wedding at one of our Black Belts, Daniel Matos, who has been with us since the age of 10 years old. It was in Darling Harbour with the best views in the world and my wife and I were sitting with Daniel's father, Victor (and his wife) who is one of our senior Black Belts; we were very honoured to sit next to them because he said I am one of his best friends. Same goes here.
My kids, Jonathan and Marcia, both Black Belts, not sitting far away with Dr Chris and his partner. A bit like a Budoshinkai get together. People develop habits seeing each other as a result of family, friendship, work or common interest.
I have found one of the best things in the martial arts is the people you meet and get to know. Ultimately, over the years, you end up being best friends and you couldn't imagine losing that friendship. My friends, outside the martial arts, cannot understand that and they never will!
I asked Maria how did she feel losing her son but she answered she wasn't losing a son but gaining a daughter (good come back).
When Daniel was making his speech my memories at the time were of Victor bringing him to my school for the first time. Outside school, Victor and I would regularly meet up, with both our sons, for coffee or lunch. Now, Daniel and Jonathan are grown up gentlemen. I am looking forward to our other young students reaching adulthood. Thank you, Daniel and Tamara, for the invitation. It was an absolutely sensational night.
The couple was extremely happy but I think the father was even happier.