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Well, the building that the West Seattle Karate Academy is located in has gone up for sale. That means that the dojo is moving…a whole three long blocks down the street.
The new space is a little bigger, a little nicer, and right next to my chiropractor, not bad. Standing in the dojo the other night, alone, I was taking account of what needed to be done to get the move going. And then the moment turned into a sentimental accounting.
Looking over to my right I saw the window that Ito threw Devin into and that spot is where Devin used duct tape and paper towels to stop the bleeding from the glass. “Oh yeah!”…I turned and looked at the other window Lawrence Kane broke. There is the cabinet that I kicked…”Mmm, never did replace that broken door. “ “Aahhh, the wall that Ito threw Tony into, man, that left a big hole.” I ran my hands over that back wall seeking any incongruence or bump; “Oh yeah that is where I punched through the wall.” My hand moved more; “Huh…I don’t remember that one…big, too.”
I stood up, nose to the air; I could smell the late-night cooking from the catering company next door. When we moved in almost a decade ago the catering company was a tattoo parlor, a tattoo parlor that sold weed out of the back. I remember having to close the back door on some summer nights to keep the ganja smoke from wafting into the dojo.
The area above the door where we store the mats, yeah, those mats cover the .22 caliber bullet hole in the window. Heading for the front door to leave I stopped to look at the floor; the wood floor we laid down almost nine years ago had held up well. I then started to recall the occasional throw-up and the getting down on the floor to bleach and scrub up the blood from lips, noses and cuts.
When I review what I have written it sounds like a horrible place, a place populated by irresponsible, macho jerks. But no, no it is not. If that were true then the dojo would be closed because nobody would train at the West Seattle Karate Academy. I would say instead that these stories are just a result of focused training and the, oh, let’s call it the “uneven character of the neighborhood.”
Well ,the new dojo is going to be great – a great facility and a great place for focused training. And, as always, if you are in Seattle, bring your dogi, you are always welcome.