Ten years isn’t an especially long time. It’s about long enough for a mere two billion tons of sediment to be eroded from the Grand Canyon – widening it just a few inches. Ten years ago, the internet was “new” (to most folks), mobile phones were exorbitant, and I knew everything there was worth knowing. At least some things never change.
Also ten years ago, Bryan finished high school and enrolled at Georgia Tech. As a result of my continuing need to be in charge of something, I conned him into helping me start a Taido class. Originally just an excuse to gratify my fragile ego, the class began to look more and more like a legitimate martial arts club when we came to notice certain students actually attempting to learn what Taido was all about. Some of those students are still with us.
Last night, many current students and a few has-beens came together to celebrate ten continuous years of Taido at Tech. We ate the famous Fossett BBQ (you can’t beat Buddy’s meat), drank the famous Guinness milkshakes, and had a famously good time hanging out and acting like family. There was some light speech-making and a couple of minor presentations, but this was not a “big event” kind of party – it was more of an excuse to say thank you to the people who have helped us keep this thing going just long enough to not look like a bunch of jackasses. It was also an excuse to gratify my fragile ego.
It was great seeing so many friends in one night. Kirk, Dee, and Edge showed. So did Mary and Liz. Mitsuaki, Brendan, and D-mag were able to come by, and so did a few other folks from the honbu dojo. We had a nice turnout, with new and old students (and their significant others) all drinking, joking, and watching old Taido videos together.
I did find myself missing a few folks who were unable to be there, particularly our “California branch” – Chris, Anthony, and Joshua. Uchida Sensei was unable to attend, though he did send along some very good sake. Chad was totally going to make it, like for real, but can’t exactly remember not knowing how he actually came to be unsure about why he wasn’t there. Oh well, I drank enough for all of them.
Of course, the natural instinct upon the demarcation of a period of time as a significant event is to speculate on the future. That is, assuming that everyone finally gets tired of rehashing, reminiscing, retelling, and rewriting the past. And so Bryan and I speculated, but didn’t make any announcements about our plan for world domination. Instead we gave those who inquired our own version of that famous, one-word advice about the future from “The Graduate” – and if you weren’t there, you missed it. But it was good. Really. Don’t you feel left out now?