I almost can’t believe that it’s now been ten years since my family and I started training martial arts! I didn’t know what to expect when we first walked into the dojo, but I never could’ve imagined where it would take us, and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
Being involved in martial arts has given The Ethridges a lot of togetherness. We’ve trained together, earned our black belts in Karate together, taught classes and seminars together, helped run tournaments together, and competed together (and against each other!). For the first half of the last decade, we did most everything in martial arts together, then our journeys led us down separate paths.
My husband wasn’t exactly thrilled when I decided to stop practicing Karate five years ago in order to focus exclusively on Jiu-Jitsu, and he was even less excited two years ago when I left the SRSK dojo to train at Lincoln BJJ, but through it all, he’s always been incredibly supportive. Our interests might not be the same, and we may be studying separately, but we’re still growing together.
This year also marks mine and Joe’s twentieth wedding anniversary, which means that for half of the time we’ve been married, we’ve been a martial arts family. It’s definitely brought us closer, and even though we now train in different styles at different schools, martial arts is still something that connects us on a daily basis. We practice together when we can, and we have endless conversations about our training. We debate the merits of various arts and techniques, we argue whether Judo or BJJ is more dangerous, and we have discussions concerning sport vs. self-defense. We also challenge each other, and through the process, we’ve learned a lot about one another, and ourselves.
“We are eagles of one nest, the nest is in our soul.” -Led Zeppelin