Photo by Asher Wyatt McClaren

Forty Years

I started training for vastly different reasons than I now train, and that evolution has taught me a lot about how and why people train in and learn martial arts.

I’ve trained in every major martial art at one time or another. I’ve worked in hospital settings, teaching teams how to physically respond to dangerous situations while still putting a patient’s health first. I’ve worked security in one of Canada’s most dangerous areas, and bounced there as well. And I spent a few years working with the Vancouver Police Department’s Force Options Training Unit, participating in realistic tactical training scenarios.

I’ve had opportunity to see how I handle violence and stress, and to feel the repercussions of it on my mind and body. I’ve gotten to see how professionals deal with extremes of violence while still being professional, and the level of training it takes to get them there and keep them there while dealing with all the baggage that brings. And I’ve worked with students and peers who’ve lived through similar.

And through all of that, I’ve learned that the best training is the kind that comes from joy. And that the people who are most in need of the kind of training I can provide, are the ones that most need a place to learn to be joyful in their training.

Valkyrie Western Martial Arts Assembly.