1. How long have you been training in the martial arts? Why did you start?
“I started my martial arts training in a style called Kempo Karate in 1994, at the age of 8. I trained in Kempo for 6 years until my school unfortunately closed. In 2002, my family moved to Camano Island in Western Washington and that summer, at age 16, I started training in Seito Shito-ryu Karate and Modern Arnis at Northwest School of Martial Arts.
Some people may find this funny, but the main reason I got into martial arts as a kid was that my favorite TV shows were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman. However, I soon found that my training had a great impact on the rest of my life. It made me stronger, faster, and more coordinated. The physical and mental discipline I gained from it made many every day tasks more manageable. And there was the pure and simple fact that it felt good to be good at something. So I stuck with it and will continue to stick with it.”
2. Have you ever used your martial arts outside of class?
“I have (thankfully) never had to use my skills to harm anyone in self defense. I have never even felt that anyone has ever threatened me in a way that would require me to use martial arts as a response (and hope I never will). But as I said, I find that many of the physical and mental attributes I’ve gained from my training help me in every day life.
For instance, I’m a welder by profession and it is a pretty labor intensive job. The strength and agility I’ve gained from martial arts makes tasks like climbing up the inside of a giant metal ship to weld the ceiling easier for me than most. And the attention to detail which I learn in class spills over to my attention to detail in the work place.”
3. What was the biggest obstacle you have overcome since you began training?
“The hardest thing for me in martial arts was learning how to teach. Once a student reaches a certain level it is required that they be able to lead classes and teach other students. I am naturally kind of shy and reserved so this was something that did not come to me as easily as the other parts martial arts training. It took YEARS of practice and my instructors’ coaxing before I became an effective teacher.”
Sempai David has a 1st degree in Kempo Karate and a 1st degree in Seito Shito-ryu Karate. He has been with NWSMA for over a decade.