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Why I Became A Martial Arts Master

By Master Frank Raimondi

It is the character development. I was born in Brooklyn New York and lived there until 7 years old. I then moved to Long Island N.Y. and lived there for most of my life. I remember being the new kid on the block. As the new kid I would be tested by the other kids as to how tough I was, and if I would stand up for myself. I did not understand the cruelty that was used to test me. I spoke with my parents about it. They said some people are just that way, that I had to stick up for myself. I remember one cold winter day with snow on the ground. Getting off at my bus stop, the bus stop bully started in on me. My bus stop at that time was across from my house. Looking out my front door my dad saw the bully shove my face into the snow. I tried to stop the bully, but I was not sure if it was OK to hurt someone. My Dad came running out of the front door of my house. The bully continued to humiliate me and then got me in a headlock. My neighbor came out of his door and was about to stop the confrontation. My Dad stopped my neighbor and said to him, no let them fight. My dad shouted out to me “Fight back Frankie, fight back”. Hearing my dads words I managed to get out of the head lock and punch the bully in the nose knocking him onto the ground. With a bloody nose and a bruised ego he ran home. The next day the bully came up to me and shook my hand. From that day on we were best friends. From that day on my thoughts about the world had changed. I realized that if you do not stick up for yourself you might be taken advantage of, made to look foolish, and will pay a price of humiliation when others laugh at you.
It wasn't until my first years in high school that my thoughts about the world around me would change once again. I remember a high school student named Wayne. Wayne, a quiet type of athletic built, would mostly keep to himself. His mild manner and solitary personality made him somewhat different from the rest of the crowd of attention seekers. Due to this he was a prime target for the bullies. I would watch as the bullies would mentally harass him, making jokes about him and having a good laugh at his expense. This did not seem to bother Wayne. For the most part Wayne would not respond to their torment. One day the bully brought it to the next level, and decided to pick a fist fight with Wayne. The bully told Wayne he was going to kick the you know what out of him. The bully went to punch and kick Wayne. With no effort Wayne block every kick, and every punch the bully could throw at him.. He countered the bullies last punch with a leg sweep. The bullies wind was knocked out of him as he fell to the ground. Wayne was ready to finish him off with a punch, but Wayne stopped instead and said to the bully “don't ever try that again”.
After that I had learned that Wayne is a Black belt in the Martial Arts, and that his Father is a Martial Arts Instructor. I was amazed at how well Wayne took the bulling nonsense knowing that he could have hurt the bully badly at any time. I was so impressed at his self control, and fighting skills that from that day on I knew what I wanted to achieve in my life. I wanted to be like Wayne. I wanted to become a Martial Artist. I wanted to have the power to defend myself as an expert, but to use that power for emergency situations and self defense only. I wanted to be humble, but not out of weakness rather out of strength. After that day I saw the bully truly. A bully is person who knows how to destroy rather to create. A bully is a person who would rather gain a persons fear than their love.
Today, after 3 decades of study, and teaching the Martial Arts I have come to know the real meaning of why I became a Martial artist, which is to be a better person to my family, humanity, and for the most part to myself. That the toughest person is not the one holding the gun, rather it is the single parent holding a full time job. It is the one who finds the time to hold, listen to, and care for themselves and thier family. It is the Man or Woman who finds time to pic up and drop off their child at martial arts class. It is a person who juggles two jobs yet still finds time kiss their children goodnight. The tough guy or girl is not the one who finds joy hurting others but one who gives without expecting anything in return. The Martial Arts has showed me that the road to peace is not violence, rather dialog. When violence occurs a peace of humanity has been lost. It is my hope that some day War will be out dated.