About me

In 2010, the year I turned 50 years old, I also passed a Taekwondo promotion test for 5th degree black belt. I tested and promoted to that rank with two peers who, the very week of the test, had each just turned 31 years old. I put that in the perspective of the fact that I didn’t even start my Taekwondo training until I was 33 years old, having started classes with my then 4-year old son. Across all of the years since, I’ve never stopped training.

At that test we did stuff that the average person can only imagine. I was happy, relieved, grateful, proud, and humbled. Although I’d been called Master since my 4th Dan promotion, it was only at that 5th Dan test that I truly felt I’d fully stepped into that role. Doubts, insecurities, fears, laziness, regrets, uncertainties, and challenges of physical limitations that had plagued me up to that time finally dissipated in good measure. I’d stepped up to the role and rank of Master. As I consider where I started and how I’ve progressed, I still often look at myself and think, “Who would have ever thought it? A fifth degree black belt? Really?” Hence, the Unlikely Master.

Little did I know that on the day I first set foot in my instructor’s Taekwondo gym in September of 1993 I would be undertaking a life-altering journey. I am a committed husband, parent, business professional, colleague, friend, citizen, Rotarian and Christian. I live and fulfill each of those roles the best I can, with attention, awareness, diligence, courage, love, care, compassion, joy and humor. Each of those roles and relationships has been enhanced by my martial arts experiences, and vice versa. As much as I view the lives, world and circumstances around me as a parent, professional or other role, I view each of them as a martial artist as well.

So, here I write about my own experiences and what I observe around me, from the perspective of this martial arts life. Hopefully, others can be encouraged by it, learn from it, be moved in some way.  Being moved or challenged in some way — learning, growing, struggling, failing — is part of the process of developing as a martial artist and of improving in life more generally . . . the process of moving toward mastery!

One Response to “About me”


  1. A Diamond Mine | An Unlikely Master - October 1, 2016

    […] About me […]

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