Well, I'm back in Bangkok now and it's official, the New Year holiday has come to an end. Not that I'm complaining but it's nice to get back to my normal routine. Got to spend plenty of time with the family traveling through parts of Northern Thailand like Mae-sot, Chiang Mai, Pai and Chiang Rai. Returning to Bangkok just in time to catch the countdown, the wife and I were too tired to head out and join the crowds. Our New Years Eve was a quite one with pizza and movies.

I want to extend my condolences to those that lost friends and family members in the tragic fire at Santika that evening. Before having heard the news, I received a number of texts and e-mails asking if we were alright. Thank you for your concern. If anything, this tragic lost will spur some real change in how things are regulated in the city for everyone's safety.

On other news, the new year is already off to a quick start with the first tournament of the season in Phuket, Thailand with NEVERTAP ASIA this January 17th. Unfortunately I will be away on busines during this time but I'm sure there will be plenty of coverage coming from the host team MMA PHUKET.

I'm also working on an interview and some material regarding BJJ federations and what does that mean to the community. I think there are some good questions out there that effect all of us so hopefully it'll spur some healthy dialogue. Of course with the holidays I didn't train as much I would have liked but it did give me time to reflect on what I was able to accomplish in 2008 and what changes I may need to make for 2009. I may not have a specific new years resolution to share with you but probably just a reaffirmation of what my priorities are/should be. FAMILY, WORK, BJJ(EVERYTHING ELSE). I'll admit the blog and my own training have have made other parts of my life feel as though they were 2nd tier and I have to address that. Some big changes are about to take place as my wife and I are expecting our first child. So it looks as though I have some gowing up to do, hahaha. It's probably the most exciting thing to happen to me and I am very much looking forward to this new stage in my life. I won't know for sure how different things will be until the baby arrives. So, bare with me as things may or may not be as consistent as they have been. I will also have to kick things up a notch with work which might be a surprise to some, does not involve BJJ. I am a jewelry designer and produce my own line of men's jewerly under the name LUKE SATORU. The site hasn't been updated for a bit so that's one of the first things to get done in the new year. I've been wanting to create a line for 'fighters' but haven't produced anything just yet so maybe that'll be a new one for 2009.

Anyways, hope everyone had a safe holiday season and looking forward to the new year.



2Old said...

It's been a while, good to have you back.

Life is funny - my wife's sister usually goes to Santika, but some friends unexpectedly invited her to Chiang Mai (what is it about Chiang Mai over the holidays for Thai people anyway?) That was good luck!

Which reminded me of the famous tsunami a few years back. A friend and his wife were there, in Phuket, when it happened, and told us that if he hadn't been too cheap to pay for a beach side bungalow, they would have been toast (they took a cheaper bungalow up on the hill - he's rich but tighter than a chicken's ass).

My New Year's resolution is to not act my age, except in one regard. I won't act my chronological "age," I will continue to whole-heartedly practice BJJ, since a whole generation of almost-geriatric marathon runners have shown that the AARP generation can still be amazing athletes, and BJJ is the "niche" that I have made my own.

The one regard in which I WILL act my age is being appreciative of still being around - when I was in my 20's (and 30's, and even 40's) I thought I was indestructible and would live forever. Now I understand the famous Zen (Ch'an?) parable of the Zen student who falls off a cliff, grabs a shrub on the way down, and while contemplating the rest of the fall (as the shrub slowly comes loose) notices a rare and beautiful flower next to the shrub and thinks - what a beautiful flower! (For those of you with pop culture roots, see instead the final scene in Blade Runner where the replicant played by Rutger Hauer keeps Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, from falling to his death.)

Life is never long enough for any of us, so it's important to maximize the quality of our lives now. It just sometimes takes a while to figure out what we are looking for.

You are going to really enjoy parenthood. There are a whole bunch of new dads at the academy, and a few "repeat offenders." Fortunately for some reason BJJ is very kid friendly, and some of the old-timers are now watching their own kids compete.


LUKE said...

Thanks Michael. I'm certainly not the first at the academy to have a kid and there are a few repeat offenders around here as well. While I probably can't ever be fully prepared for whats about to happen with having a child, it feels very natural and at at great time. I appreciate the support!