E-Rocker made me realize that I've been here over a year but I never introduced myself. Eegads! From age 7 to 22, minus one year therein, I lived in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona (USA). At the time Phoenix was a small city. Now it's a huge city. I think I read that it's the 4th largest in America. For one year during that time I lived on my own and worked at Pacific Northwest Laboratories. I programmed a robotic arm to move in desired ways. That was a cool job. I learned the C programming language from that job. I graduated from college with honors and a degre in mathematics, but I had no direction in life. "Postpone the real world," I said to myself. "Graduate school!" Purdue University offered to pay me to teach math and work on a PhD. Of course I said yes. After a couple years of watching the senior grad students interact with professors and try to find jobs I came to the decision that academia really isn't as glamorous as I had thought. So, I switched my plan of study and took a Masters degree in Applied Mathematics. A few months before graduation I married a hot Asian chick and accepted a job with the defense contractor TRW at their campus in Redondo Beach, California. We rented a townhouse two miles straight out of the Manhattan Beach pier. I was a "software engineer." I programmed in Fortran, C, a little C++, and a little Perl. Manhattan Beach rules, but after a few years I decided that mostly I hate computer science. Computers do frustrating things that nobody understands, and really, there must be better things in life than staring at a silver screen all day. I quit in spite of the great pay and went to Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Our new place was seven miles from Disneyland, and youbetcha, we went to Disneyland a lot. Disneyland rules. After graduation we moved back to my hometown in Arizona because California is an expensive place to raise children, and because my dad offered me a job. My mom did not (and still does not) approve of martial arts, so growing up, I was not permitted to take any classes. But following logic that I don't understand, she allowed me a heavybag and a speedbag. I pounded the crap out of them with my hands and feet. I read every karate book in four libraries and many boxing books as well. During my year away from home I joined a taekwondo school (I couldn't find a karate school). The instructors were impressed with my kicks. "You learn to do it right when you kick a heavybag," I told them. When it came to sparring, I somehow always slipped around or through my opponent's kicks and got to punching range. It was that heavybag, I think. Kick, then punch. Crash the line. Because I had a natural ability to go around, between, or through TKD kicks, I wanted to try judo (close-range martial art) at Purdue. Unfortunately I soon had to quit because my class schedule conflicted with the judo schedule. I moved then to a JKD/MMA school in town that was affiliated with Richard Bustillo and Larry Hartsell. I attended classes frequently. I was pretty good at escrima, JJJ, and kempo when I moved to California, where I tried BJJ with the Machado Brothers. BJJ is not for me. I learned the hard way that I hate wrestling on the floor. After a year of BJJ I sought out an escrima school but instead found an old guy teaching an eclectic mix of knife fighting in his backyard. "Bladed wing chun and combat tai chi," he called it. I call it bad-ass kill-em-dead stuff. Dude had been doing martial arts since he was a teenager and had more black belts than a thermometer has degrees. I learned under him to imitate the characteristic movements of karate, TKD, kempo, escrima, JJ, muay thai, WC, and so on, so as to take advantage of their inherent weakness. (No martial art is unbeatable, not even his. We all equally suck.) I learned to manipulate a knife and to flow like water between all ranges and to go around barriers. I also improved my stick fighting with him. After a few years of simulated death and serious injury I got burned out from the violence, and stopped. Killing and hurting other people really doesn't interest me. I went back to the books. I read and read and read about all sorts of martial arts, and decided that aikido might be what I had been looking for my entire life. I found an aikido school and immediately confirmed my thinking. This is what I was looking for. And so I study aikido now. My hot Asian wife has birthed three children: girl, boy, girl. I was there to catch all three when they were born. I was the first person who ever held them. I snipped their umbilical cords. My oldest child now takes aikido lessons too.