Kevin Meisner started martial arts training in karate at the age of 14 in 1979 with C.M. Bookwalter and Dave Salyards at the YMCA in Hollidaysburg PA. In 1982, Kevin started assistant teaching, and in 1984 started his own class on the rooftop of Mitchell Hall at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He has trained and taught continuously ever since (see below for a bit more).
Some Thoughts After Many Years
by Kevin Meisner
For some of us, martial arts becomes a lifelong pursuit. I’ve done a fair amount of seeking.
I’ve studied the karate I learned from C.M. Bookwalter, Dave Salyards, and Tom Handest (and some of their senior students including Ginny Bowman, John Franks, Doug Hoover, Joe Keller, Larry Sutt Sr., Bill Melton, Steve Winterstein, Rowdy and Glen Kagereis, and others).
I’ve learned some Isshin-Ryu (Angi Uezu), Uechi-Ryu (George Mattson and Jim Maloney), American Kickboxing (Peter Rogers), Reeders Kuntao (Joe Gionti), Kosho Shorei Ryu (Bruce Juchnik, Dave LoPriore and Frank Smith), Tai Chi (Tai Yim Kung-Fu school in Northern Virginia), Okinawan weapons, Western weapons (Josh Simon and others), adrenalized stress conditioning (Impact Model Mugging), grappling, use of firearms (LFI-1 Massad Ayoob and others), practical self defense (Marc MacYoung and others), Chanbara (Dana Abbott and Tim Vandenover), Dagorhir, and more. I’ve also extensively read and researched many different martial arts styles and forms from all over the world.
All of this activity was sparked by various incidents in my youth where I felt weak and unable to handle a verbal or physical confrontation. Having eventually sorted that out, the quest for me now is an activity that keeps me in reasonable shape/health and not bored (so I keep at it). I’ve run and I’ve lifted weights and had various exercise routines, all of which come and go and return.
Today my practice consists of certain exercises and techniques that I like, mostly for exercise and fitness. I very much enjoy generating power (hulk smash), regularly unleashing the fury on kick shields, focus mitts and heavy bags. Finally, I enjoy sharing my practice with other people. I literally started doing that immediately upon learning, even before I earned a white belt.
So, all of that is me. We each have our own individual reasons for practicing and learning. The trick is to figure out what it is that you like, find it, do it. That may change over time, all depends on you.
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