Master Dan’s Blog
Nerds of a Feather Flock Together
So, my best friend and I love wax philosophical and intellectualize. We are a great example of what happens when you don’t judge a book by its cover. To look at us hanging out you might be confused as to what we have in common, but the answer is a lot! Common viewpoints on the world. Common interests. Some shared experiences.
One of the things that has always baffled the two of us is how catty and exclusive Nerds can be. We both grew up into nerdy things like video games, comic book, D&D, fantasy books, and so on. And we both know many people in the Geek culture who seem to just hate on others within. That makes us both go, “Really? You grew up with people making fun if you for who you are and what you like and your answer is to do the same to someone just like you?”
Like I was saying to a group of friends last night I don’t understand hate or intolerance of any kind. I don’t get racism, sexism, or other -isms that other people have in them. Not that I can’t be ignorant and say dumb things. I do that all the time. However, I am always open to be involved educated and talking to people to learn more about them.
Someone very close to me once put it as simply as “don’t yuck on other people’s yums”, and I think that’s great. We should all learn how to just be open and accept difference as just that. Different doesn’t mean “bad”. Just different. Embrace your different.
Hi! My name is Dan, and I’m a nerd!
Welcome to our martial arts blog! I figured we’d start at the beginning - “Who am I? You sure you wanna know?” - Peter Parker in Spider-Man
So, I grew up a small, skinny, smart kid who liked Star Wars and science class. In other words, “NEEEEERRRRRRD!”. I don’t mean today’s definition of a nerd either. Oh no! Today’s nerd might miss D&D night because he had football practice as opposed to because the football team used him to practice tackling. In my day it was much harder to straddle the social strata like that.
Now, in all fairness the bullying wasn’t too bad in grade school. A lot of name calling. Not being able to fit in or be a part of the group. Maybe the occasional bump or bruise. It didn’t really get bad till right before Jr. High all the way through my Junior year of high school.
I asked my parents to send me to a new school after 6th grade. That summer I went away to camp and got the crap beat out of me by a bully in my cabin. However, in the same week I made a discovery that would be my version of Peter Parker’s spider bite: Taekwondo!
One of the camp counselors was a black belt, and he taught classes while I was at camp. This was the first time in my life I can honestly say I was excited about something that took exercise. Before this my fav sports games were Techmo Bowl and Track & Field on the Nintendo. Really I was fed up with having my feelings (or body) hurt on a regular basis by others. I was tired of being afraid.
Camp finished and when when my dad picked me up the first words out of my mouth were, “I want to do Taekwondo!” I’m sure this was a serious surprise to my father who had put so much effort previously into trying to find a sport for me. I have to give him credit. My old man got me to try soccer, baseball, wrestling, & basketball. He definitely wanted me to be active. I’m sure neither he nor my mom thought it would take. That’s probably why they actually let me start. I imagine a conversation where my mom was terrified I’d get hurt, but that my dad convinced her that it was my own idea finally, and that really I’d probably fizzle out fairly quickly.
Well, here we are a full 30 years later. Not only did I not quit, but I got my black belt. Not in a single art either, but in several. Teaching martial arts became my dream early in high school, and I have done that now for 20 years. But my motivations are still very simple. I’m always looking for that next version of “me” that just needs a chance in order to learn how to believe in himself.
Thanks Mom & Dad