Though we see each other on average once and sometimes twice a year when we're lucky, though some of our team members haven't even met face to face except for the Team member private forum, emails, skype, Facebook, phone and other methods of communication thanks to technology, we have been there for one another many a times and at some very rough moments for several of us at certain points in our lives over the last few years.
This includes those who aren't active teaching any longer and haven't been for a while, they know they are still and will forever be a part of this team. It's amazing to witness the growth of such tight friendships and bonds form over a common goal, bringing people of every nationality and creed to the team, from every walk of life and creating a bond so tight, you know you have a place to lay your head peacefully no matter how rough life gets in 11 different countries in the world.
It makes life alot easier, even the rougher moments, to know that these people are out there, have your back, support one another and are there at the proverbial 'drop of a dime'. No other feeling in the world like it to know in ones heart of hearts, that no matter what... there's nothing to worry about.
The content of the conversations over the countless Chinese dinners since 1994 and beginning with the original "Senshido Mafia" as we were once known in Montreal for more than half a dozen of us wore the "Senshido Tactical Urban Combat" black Bomber jackets (as seen in the above middle pic) and walked around in packs back in the day, to the International Team we are today.... so we've had Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Thai in:
Italy, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, all over North America, the UK (most of it lmfao!!!!) and how many tables have we all cleared... honestly, if it were to be cumulative since 94, damn man... damn... as my memory turns back the pages, wow... I mean Marc (MP) can chime in with a few himself but I'm not sure how appropriate more than half the content would be lmfao!!!
Like all families, we've had our ups and downs, and though some of us may be at odds today due to some of those downs and for whatever it is worth, I want you to know I never forgot and will never forget the good times, the times you were all not only there for me, but there for Senshido especially, as for me, they will forever outweigh the bad and though the love I had has shifted, it is still love I feel when you enter my mind and I choose to cherish the good times regardless of the fact that life has taken us our separate ways. I honestly and from the bottom of my heart, if by some odd reason or another you are reading this, wish you love and happiness.
To my present team, what can I say, you all know how I feel as I've spewed it out often enough in book length emails sharing with you everything from my fears and concerns to my joys and triumphs. You at this point in time, all know everything there is to need to know about me and you haven't judged me or even questioned me, you've not only accepted me but trusted me and were patient with me over the last 4.5 years as I went through these massive transitions in my life. I know that you didn't have to stay and we did lose one of us during that time though he still remained on the sidelines and got us on the cover of Blitz last month :`) and I don't blame him nor would I have blamed any of you for giving up on me at that point, but I am glad you didn't and I know that you are all just as glad cause things just freakin exploded again and the universe just kept knock, knock, knockin' on my door and just wouldn't let me leave all this behind....
So thank you to one and all who ever had the fortune or misfortune of joining me in my insanities, the rough times I know for a fact I put some of you through, I apologize for and for helping propel Senshido to the unbelievable level it is today and growing as you have all at one level or another, helped me achieve this and the literally tens of thousands of lives that have benefited world wide from your contributions.
To the present Team... well.. you know... GET YOUR ASSES OVER HERE AND START CONTRIBUTING! :`)