So, people in martial arts change change schools for a variety of reasons and come and go for different things and with different attitudes about their experiences at a given academy. By the time you've been doing this since young adulthood or late adolescence you've said hello and goodbye to many training partners and facilities for several reasons. I've been very lucky in my time to have said good bye to very few on unfriendly circumstances.
Conversely, I've had to deal with new training environments in different arts enough that it's well past being an event that causes nerves for me. If anything, it's an exciting opportunity to take a different step. However, it does not make it easier to leave a group of training partners full time.
This week, I said goodbye once again. This time it was a much harder event than it has been in a long time. Last night was, in all likelihood, my final night on the mat at Ohana Martial Arts as one of the students there. For those that don't know, I travel about 45 in one way to attend BJJ classes with Chris at Ohana. It has been time well spent. Chris is an amazing instructor and the group of individuals that train there are equally as incredible.
However, for about a year Triton MMA has been open in my very own little town of Woodstock and it boasts an excellent BJJ program. The owner, Mike, is equally amazing at what he does and since I've got to know him I've found him to be an excellent individual as well. I count he and his senior students as friends.
So, for some time, I have struggled with the fact that I've had access to a great program that offers what I love to do 5 minutes from my house while I've been driving 45 minutes to a great program to which I have much loyalty. Finally, I have come to the only decision that I could really make. I've taken off the Nova Uniao flag and elected to switch schools. After speaking with both coaches, it seemed to be the option that made the most sense across the most domains.
Chris and the guys at Ohana, you are the best. I will miss training with you all on a routine basis. To the guys at Triton, I am thrilled and excited to be part of your academy and thank you for the warm welcome and acceptance. It is an amazing new step in my journey that's been on going for so long I can't picture my life without it.
For everyone else, I truly hope that you have such difficult decisions to make when it comes to electing where to train. It is a major blessing to have such legit academies around me and I do realize how lucky that makes me.
On the upside, along this path I have collected training partners that run the gambit of organizations, arts, and affiliations and to those who've I've become attached I still manage to get time with them here or there every now and again. I have no reason, or desire, for it to be otherwise this time.