I’ve thought about writing for a longtime. I don’t know what’s been keeping me from doing it for so long. I often think about who would end up reading this and who I’d be writing for; myself, my friends, my students, my past loves, or my future love, or a son or daughter I have yet to meet. Regardless, the fact that I’m doing something that I’ve promised my self is the important part. The audience can come later.
Keeping the promise is the most important thing to me.
At some point you will be my audience and maybe I’ll find out who you are and what our relationship is. Maybe my thoughts and inner ramblings will change. I hope they do. I hope I get better at this thing. I think the only way to find out is to just do it.
This year has brought about so much change. I started a new job, I lost a great teacher and I ended a relationship. If you know me, you know that much of my life ends up here (the internet) for the world to see. I often wonder if I share too much but I have dear friends that appreciate it and if you’re not a fan, turn me off, tune me out or just change the channel. It doesn’t matter to me.
Choice is one of the most powerful things we have and I’m trying to exercise that muscle more these days. I don’t know about you, but I often choose the difficult paths. I always have. I don’t know why that is but I’m so happy with my life and who Jason Nip is. I’ve learned through experience that I typically land on my feet so I’ve gained the confidence to trust myself and know that everything will be ok.
Martial arts and my life:
One of my earliest memories of martial arts was asking my uncle to show me Kung-fu. He demonstrated some movements and I tried to copy them as best as a 5 year old could. To this day, I don’t know if my uncle even knew Kung fu. He might have just been trying to appease a little boy. We were never close. We aren’t now and I’ll never know if what he was showing was “real” or just play.
Growing up as a Canadian born Chinese kid in Mississauga I was often teased by schoolmates. “Do you know Karate?” I didn’t. It seemed important that I at least learn more but I never went looking for a school or asked my mom if I could practice a martial art.
In the 80’s The Karate Kid hit theaters. It was the Rocky of my childhood generation. I was 9 years old. Anyways, I was I’m my bedroom practicing the infamous crane kick. Miyagi said “no can defend” and I wanted to perfect this technique. You know, beat the bad guy, make my teacher proud, and win the heart of the beautiful girl. While I was focusing on these life goals my father walked past my open door and look at me. I froze - standing on one leg with my arms outstretched feeling the embarrassment that only a young teen boy can. It was the martial arts equivalent of being caught my with my dick in my hand only I didn’t scream “shut the door!” My father just kept walking by. I doubt he even remembers that moment but the feeling of embarrassment is forever etched in my memory.
Aikido: My first introduction to Aikido was in a movie as well. Above the Law staring Steven Segal was ground breaking for its time. Here was a guy who was moving in a way no one had seen before. He was shrouded in mystery. Was he ex.CIA? All that was known for sure was that he had studied this mysterious martial art in Japan for many years that no one really knew much about. The idea of using your opponents power against them was very appealing to me; especially to a kid who was smaller than most growing up. The principles of Aikido always appealed to me but again, I never went looking for it.
1999: while working at Sharky’s (a bar/resto) in Oakville, I was talking to James, a big Korean doorman with an even bigger smile reminiscent of a living breathing Buddha. Somehow the topic of martial arts came up and I mentioned Aikido to which James replied, “oh, you should talk to Reg, he does Aikido”.
Reg worked with James guarding the door. He was ex military - Canadian Airborne. He had done high altitude halo jumps and tours in Africa and other places we don’t speak of and started practicing martial arts when he was just 5 years old. Dude is big, tattooed and not friendly looking but I asked him about Aikido and asked me if I wanted to learn. At 23 years old, I had found my first teacher.
So that was 13 years ago. Today. I still train in Yoshinkan Aikido with 9th Dan, Kimeda Takeshi Sensei. He is Reg’s Sensei and was the first practitioner to bring Yoshinkan Aikido to North America in 1964. At 71 years of age he is still teaching full time and is a force to be reckoned with.