A Year of New Beginnings

Dearest Sensei and fellow Karateka,

Yesterday, we went to the park, where many of us met for the very first time, one year ago. Although the park was filled with so many people, very different from the times we spent there training together, it felt as though it was just us. All of this love we have all grown to share and this family, we have all built together, joined in this sacred space, with so much love and enthusiasm. 

It was a magical day.

I was going to write this in a message and send it via text to all of you, but the ABUNDANCE of Love and Gratitude is too much to express in simply a few words. So, I am taking this expanded space and expressing it here to you, now. 

In a world and at a time when fear was the most present emotion for most and “distancing” became the new and accepted normal, this group showed up, worked hard, opened their hearts, learned, thrived, shared, and grew together. 





We have been LIVING at a time, when sadly, not only have people lost their lives or loved ones but have possibly allowed themselves to lose hope, as they believed and trusted the voices telling them to do so.

We held on and pushed through. 


There are not enough words to express my gratitude for each of you. You know who you are and you know how deeply you have touched the lives of Pierce, Aston, and me. Seeing you show up to each class, no matter the ailments, no matter the excuses we each could make. Witnessing each of your dedicated, steadfast spirits in the park, parking lots, and our magnificent dojo each day, gives me life. 

Your spirits are pure and authentic. 

Thank you for the gift of your presence in the dojo and in our lives.

Dearest Sensei, 

These words all apply to you as well and of course, I have so many more, which I believe, wholeheartedly, everyone would stand beside me in expressing.  

You are stronger, wiser, kinder, and more special to all of us than you realize.

You are a beaming, yet graceful, and peaceful light that shines upon us.

You guide us with your whole heart. You are vulnerable and you allow us to be. You are strong and you empower us to embrace our own strength. The strength sometimes we don’t believe we have. You are a true leader, but not in a way that doesn’t make us feel we are right there next to you. You hold our hands but you let us be everything that we are, as individuals. 

You see each of us for who we are. You acknowledge our presence, our strengths, our weaknesses, our spirits. You truly SEE and Hear us. As I’ve told you so many times, this is all any of us want, from birth really. To be Seen. To be Heard. To be Loved. 

You have taken us in with open arms and you show us what true friendship looks like. You show us what having a family who truly loves and cares for us looks like. You inspire us. You give us strength. You are such a wonderful example. For each of us, for your children, your friends, and anyone who can see you in the light my boys and I see you in. 

You express your love each day as you show up to teach and guide us through and on this precious and magical journey of Karate-do. 

Thank you, dearest Sensei, for opening your heart to my boys, to me, and to all of us. 

Thank you for being right there, at the right time, a year ago, on the other end of the phone when I asked to be led to the right dojo and the right Sensei for my family. 

I knew everything was just as it should be, from the moment we first spoke, and every day since. 

My fellow karateka, keep showing up, keep pushing through, keep being you. Just as you are.

You are AMAZING, strong, perseverant, passionate, and kind.

How very fortunate my boys and I are to know you and to train with you each week. 

Here’s to another year filled with so many blessings and New Beginnings. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

♥️ Sandy