Brian Kagen pick: “Going to the mat for my son” by Brian Chasnoff

“A father to three boys, I recently found myself in the sort of place where people inflict pain on one another — and for fun. I’d gone to the dojo, actually a room in a strip mall and spare but for swords hung menacingly on a wall, for Faustino, my oldest.

Some background: Faustino is not my son. But he is my son. He was born on Valentine’s Day 2000, about two years before I met my wife, who decided at some point that his father was not her valentine. I was 22 when I met Xelina, my valentine, and I’ve been a father to her son ever since. Faustino’s biological father now lives in Denver.”

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  1. Young or old, done both, parenthood is both necessary and rewarding.

    My son Aidan went to one judo tournament. Placed next to last, but gave a better judoka an opportunity to execute the best technique of the day. Unfortunately Aidan’s falling wasn’t quite up to it and it hurt a lot. I think his biggest mistake was wearing a colored belt. The school where the tournament was held had two colors: white and black.

    I disagree with the author in one point. Aikido moves bones in ways they are unaccustomed to go, the weak rather than strong spots. Of course not all aikidoka, even senseis, have figured out the subtleties of nikkyo.

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