(Aiki News #91, Printemps 1992)
AIKI NEWS: Patrick, you began your martial arts career in judo in France, I believe. Would you tell us something of your early training years?
AUGÉ: My grandfather, who is now 96, studied jujutsu for a couple of years while he was a student, right after World War 1. He got me interested in it at an early age. I was going to a strict private school and some boarding pupils were extorting candies and such things from those who had access to the outside. There was a boy from Belgium who was older and quite tough. He was harassing me continually and recess had become a nightmare for me. My grandfather taught me ukemi, seoinage, tomoenage, and a defense against a kick. We used to practice on his bedroom carpet. Soon no one bothered me anymore. Then I took up fencing. One Christmas vacation, my grandfather took me to a judo demonstration which made a deep impression on me. I believe it was in 1955, when I was eight. Later I moved near Paris with my parents and studied judo with Mr. Michel Bourgoin, who was a champion and a great teacher at the same time, a rare combination. I wanted to be on the national judo team to compete in Munich Olympics and trained very hard. However, my parents convinced me to complete my university studies in business administration (I was supposed to take over my father's clothing manufacturing business). They agreed to help me go to Japan later in order to train at the Kodokan and some university. I also studied a little aikido and karate, first with Hiroo Mochizuki (son of Minoru Mochizuki), then with one of his assistants. One night, a few months before I left for Japan, my teacher told me to get in touch with Hiroo Mochizuki, since his father had room for me in his dojo in Shizuoka City. This was something totally unexpected since I thought you had to go and sleep on the doorstep of the dojo for several years to be accepted (laughter)!
AIKI NEWS: Would you give us your initial impressions of the Yoseikan and Mochizuki Sensei?
AUGÉ: I arrived at the address Hiroo Sensei had given me in the afternoon. This was in 1970. Mochizuki Sensei came to greet me at the door. He projected an impression of quiet strength and, at the same time, of kindness. He spoke some French and said we'd go and eat. We went to a nearby sushi shop. Sensei asked me about Hiroo Sensei and some martial arts teachers he had taught in France. He also observed my manners. Then we took a cab and had coffee at the home of one of Sense's friends who was an English teacher. She interpreted a more detailed conversation between Sensei and me. He seemed rather well-informed about my background through Hiroo Sensei. Sensei wanted to know more about my future plans. "If you want to improve your judo, you also have to study aikido," Sensei said. This bothered me because my perception of aikido was that it was a sort of martial choreography for judo dropouts and elderly people. Sensei must have read my mind. "Yoseikan aikido is special. It is a total budo," he added. He also said that I would stay at the dojo and that there were rules that I had to observer. "No girlfriends! Japanese women spoil foreigners, they become dull and quit or look for an easier dojo to train in." He was serious. We took another cab, picked up my belongings, then headed for the Yoseikan. The dojo, a tall wooden building, was erected on the bank of a wide rocky riverbed, near the seashore and facing Mount Fuji. It was surrounded by rice fields and a few homes, I felt as if I were in a dream. Mrs. Mochizuki questioned me about Hiroo Sensei. She was going to be my adopted mother and taught me quite a few things, such as how to prepare food, cook rice, etc. I am still grateful for her kind patience. Then Sensei showed me into my nine tatami room. There were two students of Hiroo Sensei's next door, Jacques Normand and Michel Cocquet. Both of them had been there a year already. "Did Sensei make you take the sushi test? That's the way he checks on the new gaijin," one said. I had dinner with Sensei and his wife and then we went down into the dojo where the aikido practice was about to begin. There were 35 to 40 people on the mats. The atmosphere was charged with energy. Students were switching between techniques that appeared to be aikido, judo, or jujutsu, and everything seemed to blend so well together. Attacks were focused karate punches, kicks, grabs, etc., and there were no unnecessary moves or falls. I must say that I had been feeling uncomfortable with the types of martial arts that were familiar to me with their emphasis on winning or destroying the opponent. I knew that in a real fight, if you hurt or killed your opponent, he or his brothers would retaliate and the conflict would remain unresolved. I also knew from experience that in order to maintain peace. You had to be truly strong. Nobody negotiates with weaklings. I got into several fights as a boy but was always very careful to preserve the other kid's dignity. I made some of my best friends after fighting with them (laughter)! I was also very concerned with my future in judo. Competitors were accumulating injuries and dropping out of judo at an alarming rate. The coaches were only concerned with quick results without consideration for their athlete's future health. Many people are now in far worse shape than if they had never done anything. In the first few minutes of the practice, I knew that I had found what I had been looking for, a complete and effective system from both the physical education and martial arts points of view, something that one could continue until the end of one's life. It would also be the ideal art for an aging competitor. So started my life as an uchideshi (live-in student). Sensei gave me a book and told me to learn Japanese, which I have been doing ever since that time. My teacher in France had said that I had to find out by myself what things had to be done and do them before someone would ask me. So, my first morning, I cleaned the dojo windows. I was good with my hands too and could do repairs with the few available to ols. A few days after my arrival, Sensei introduced me to Morimot Sensei, a teacher of the Kidotai (Riot Police) who also trained at the Yoseikan. So I started practicing judo five days a week at the police school dojo in Undomonae. They also trained the police students who all held first or second black belts in judo or kendo. This way I studied arresting techniques, handcuffing, tying up with a rope, etc.
AIKI NEWS: So you ended up staying for several years?
AUGÉ: Yes, for nearly seven years. Now with my yearly trips, the total time I have spent in Japan is much more than that. I lived in the dojo for three years. Then I got married and moved in with my wife Kaoru. However, I was at the dojo every day. At night we had aikido practice from 7:00 until 9:00. Sensei would often teach until 10:00. On weekends there were judo, aikido and kobudo (classical martial arts). A lot of people would come, mostly black belts and high-ranking teachers. Sense's judo is like aikido. He uses circular motions and his taiotoshi, haragoshi, and yamaarashi are smooth and powerful. He has such a mastery of footsweeps that he can throw you just with the kuzushi (unbalancing) before his foot touches you. I remember one Sunday morning, Sensei took a tall and strong but lazy foreigner to the ground. The poor man ended up being tied with his own belt like a salami sausage. There were some very good people at the Yoseikan at that time. Murai Sensie (who is now 70 and still active) was a small man of about 50, weighing only 110 pounds. He was smooth and fast and used sutemi (sacrifice techniques) to complete his techniques. He would (and still does) make you open your fist by pressing it, grab a couple of fingers and then apply a technique. He never hurt anyone. Also students could practice with the teachers and throw them. It was also the period when the people who now constitute the technical pillars of the Yoseikan started. These were Tezuka, Washizu, and Kenmotsu. Sensei was experimenting a lot with sutemi and other techniques. We would, for instance, put on boxing gloves and attack each other. Then Sensei would correct us and we would look for weaknesses. Another time we would use knives, clubs, etc. Then Sensei would think of a way to improve the technique, consult the students again and if something did not work, he'd tell us to forget it. Often he would come to my room and tell me to attack him in a certain way. Then he would throw me, pin me, or apply a lock while I was attempting to escape or counter. Sometimes some eminent budo teacher would visit and they used me as an uke. Even after I got married, Sensei would call me to go with him places. I met many interesting people and heard many inspiring stories. The treatment was also always first class. That experience took me beyond the mere technical teaching. For this, I was always available. At that time, Sensei was also organizing the technical program of the Yoseikan, starting from specific exercises like the tewaza and other techniques that have disappeared from most aikido schools, and which lead naturally to the sutemiwaza and kimewaza (finishing techniques such as locks or strangulations). He was also putting the final touches on the kata (forms). The other two foreigners worked part-time. When they were at the dojo, Sensei would call us. We'd work on sutemi, tewaza, combinations, kenjutsu, bojutsu, iaijutsu, etc. Sensei would take pictures, write notes in a notebook or on large sheets of paper that he would post on the walls of the dojo. At night everyone would work on that.
AIKI NEWS: What does tewaza refer to in the Yoseikan system?
AUGÉ: It refers to what is called ikkyo, nikyo, etc., the basic techniques applied to the arms. Yoseikan Budo is an evolving system. First you have to learn how to escape an attack before you apply a technique. This is achieved through two kata or sets of exercises generally practiced as drills; one is called tehodoki (hand escapes), the other taisabaki (body turning movements). At first their relationship is not obvious, but students who persist beyond the first few years of practice begin to get a more global understanding of the method. At that level, techniques become smoother and circular. However, there is no instant answer and Sensei scolds students who just go through the motions. At the Yoseikan, you have to practice and study regularly or your techniques will become sloppy. For instance, if a partner attacks with a powerful reverse punch and your timing is bad (it's the first thing people lose when they do not train), your technique won't work, he won't fall and he will certainly follow up with a combination. Maai (combative engagement distance), timing, and precision are achieved through shiteirandori, a form of training in which several partners surround tori (the defender) and attack at a speed depending on the students' level, but always at a steady pace, as soon as an opening occurs. Tori must use the same technique. Robuse (ikkyo), for instance, whatever the attack may be. This helps a lot in developing awareness (ki) and humility (laughter)! The next level is jiyurandori (free practice). Attacks are free, and so are the defenses. The students are in groups of three or four and attack tori in rapid succession. Free combinations are permitted, but blocking and the unnecessary use of force are not allowed. This level may take four or five years to reach for those who train twice a week. The third level of training is chikararandori (competition). The students, by pairs or in groups, agree on some basic rule for scoring, for example to finish off on the ground in the case of one on one, to use an opponent as a shield or throw him at the others and run away - there are many variations. This kind of training is self-defense. In all cases, there are no established rules for scoring in order to make sure the students keep thinking. This level of training starts from the shodan level and is conducted occasionally. Sensei constantly insists on sincere attacks. He often scolds distracted students, telling them that their dullness is due to the false sense of safety that one has in Japan, unemployment will rise, and so will the crime rate. Then the streets won't be safe anymore. This lack of awareness is the reason Japanese tourists are such easy targets in foreign countries. Recently, Sensei has been emphasizing kenjutsu training and kendori (sword-taking techniques) in order to increase precision.
AIKI NEWS: It seems Mochizuki Sensei's system was evolving when he was in his 60's.
AUGÉ: In the 1970's he was establishing the nomenclature of the system. However, nothing is final and Sensei's techniques evolve constantly. Even now, irregular students and those instructors who do not come back to the hombu dojo regularly have a hard time keeping up with him. Sensei spends his days thinking of different ways of teaching. He usually gets up around 6:00 a.m. and walks to a nearby Zen temple. There he has tea with the head priest who is a rokudan or higher in Kodokan judo. His specialty is shimewaza (strangulations), which he can apply from any position. They discuss all sorts of matters, not just the martial arts. Sometimes during the day he comes down into the dojo, will take a shinai, a bo, etc., do some moves all by himself, then write it down. Sensei also lectures a lot. His favorite topics are education and Jigoro Kano's maxims, "mutual welfare and prosperity" and "the best use of energy." He does not only talk about it, he also asks questions and encourages us to mediate on these subjects. I remember an incident that occurred a few summers ago. A gentleman from France, head of an important aikido group, came to the Yoseikan for a brief stay. He was accustomed to doing aikido in a kata manner and had a hard time in jiyurandori, especially against a recoiling punch. He was getting impatient. I was calming him down when Sensei notice his frustration and came to show him something he could do. "But last week, you showed me that way," he replied in irritation. "What did he say?" Sensei asked me. I translated. Sensei shook his head. "Last week was last week, today is today. Tell him!" I translated. The Frenchman looked up in exasperation and commented: "He must be senile, I can't believe this!" "What did he say?" Sensei asked me again. "He said that he is a Cartesian and that he has a hard time following your thoughts!" (laughter).
AIKI NEWS: Could you elaborate on Mochizuki Sensei's background?
AUGÉ: I believe Sensei started with judo when he was five or six years old. He also studied kendo and jujutsu. He wanted to specialize in judo and entered the Kodokan in 1926, when he was about 20. He soon became an unchideshi of Mifune Sensei who had noticed his enthusiasm (see AN #54 & 55). Jigoro Kano had formed a group whose aim was to research and study classical bujutsu and budo, and incorporate them into the Kodokan's curriculum. Kano Sensei let him join the group and sent him to study with Ueshiba Sensei, whose uchideshi he became, after asking Kano Sensei's permission, of course. Sensei was training quite hard, going from one dojo to the other, for judo training and competition, touring military academies with Ueshiba Sensei, etc. Once a month he had to report to Kano Sensei about his findings. Sensei over trained and became very ill. He returned to Shizuoka, reputed for its mild climate, and recovered. In order to make him stay, his family built a dojo for him. He called it the Yoseikan. I know also that Sensei studied karate with Funakoski Sensei for some time. While in Mongolia he also worked with Kudaka Sensei (Hisataka in Japanese, founder of present-day Shorinji-ryu Karate) from Kudaka Island, to whom he taught judo. Sensei adopted the main kata of his style and incorporated it into the Yoseikan curriculum as a drill to train atemi. In 1951, Sensei left for France and that period became a major turning point in his evolution.
AIKI NEWS: When did Mochizuki Sensei actually perfect his Yosekian system and what were its main features?
AUGÉ: I don't know exactly when it happened, but he said that when he was in Europe, he was challenged several times and was exposed to different martial arts and sports. Then he found out that he could switch naturally from one martial art to the other. He also said that he felt that aikido as he had learned it was lacking in effectiveness, but the taisabaki were good for entering inside the opponents' guard so he could then apply variations and techniques from other martial arts. Mochizuki Sensei told us that when he went back to Japan, he talked to Ueshiba Sensei about the necessity of adapting the art to modern fighting systems that use punches and kicks, such as French savate and karate. However, Ueshiba Sensei did not show any concern for such things and Mochizuki Sensei decided to do it by himself.
AIKI NEWS: For the Aiki News Friendship Demonstration that we sponsored in 1986 one of the highlights for me were the sutemiwaza performed by Mochizuki Sensei's students. The techniques were brilliant.
AUGÉ: The sutemiwaza are the natural continuation of the basic techniques. After a while, the wrist and elbows become so flexible that conventional techniques do not work anymore. Also, they tend not to work on strong and stable people, wrestlers, judo exponents, etc. Some of my students who are police officers say that suspects under the effect of drugs do not feel pain and that they need stronger techniques to arrest them. When I first trained at the Yoseikan, the only techniques that worked on me were the sutemiwaza. Mochizuki Sensei has inherited genius of his teachers. I think.
AIKI NEWS: Actually when we talk about Yoseikan Aikido, we are not really referring to aikido but to aiki budo since Mochizuki Sensei didn't study with O Sensei after the war. So the component martial arts are aiki budo, judo, karate, kenjutsu, etc.
AUGÉ: Mochizuki Sensei did not quit judo after meeting Ueshiba Sensei and continued his study of other martial arts. That led him to rediscover the principles that are common to most arts. I refer to the bimechanical and mental principles. Sensei has been focusing on that and the basics of his system express it. A Yoseikan student who moves out of town will have acquired the basics and the mental attitude necessary to study another martial art. As a result, his aikido will improve. Mochizuki sensei took us to a demonstration of Daito-ryu by Katsuyuki Konda Sensei in 1976 and I noticed many common points in the techniques. In France, I had much admiration for Hiroo Sensei, who to me was the embodiment of the total martial artist. He was a superb karateka and could switch techniques during sparring. I saw him throw his partners with aikido and judo techniques. An elderly teacher said to me one day. "Wait until you see his father!"
AIKI NEWS: I believe Hiroo Mochizuki is the major exponent of the art in France. Would you please describe his approach? How is it similar or different to his father's approach?
AUGÉ: Hiroo Sensei did, I think, the same thing with aikido and karate as his father did with aikido and judo. I do not know his present system, since I haven't studied it. In appearance it looks like kempo done in an aikido-like manner. Hiroo Sensei is a creative genius, like his father. One fact I remember quite well, in the winter of 1972, Mochizuki Sensei came back from a trip to France. That same evening, Sensei announced the change of the name to Yoseikan Budo. The Japanese students accepted it quite well, but some foreign students became confused and left the Yoseikan.
AIKI NEWS: You are presently active as the main representative of Yoseikan Budo in North America. You are based in Ottawa, Canada and have your main dojo there. Would you tell us how you decided to live in Canada and how you approached setting yourself up as an aikido teacher?
AUGÉ: One day in 1975, Mochizuki Sensei received a letter from Colonel Thomas Bearden who had trained under Colonel Sadayuki Demizu in Huntsville, Alabama. He was teaching a small class and asked if Sensei could send a teacher. Sensei told me to go. So my wife Kaoru who was a black belt in aikido from another school, and I left and spent the summer in the U.S. We took a trip to Canada, applied for immigration to the U.S. and Canada and went back to Japan. The U.S. Department of labor knew nothing of aikido and called a local aikido school of another organization in order to inquire about Yoseikan Aikido. No comments. We got better support in Canada, spent a few months in Montreal and finally settled in Ottawa. Very few people knew about aikido, so we taught mainly judo and karate. Soon we gained enough credibility and we could open aikido classes. I got a full-time job at a community college near Ottawa, teaching martial arts and now I am also in charge of preparing the police students. Kaoru started the University of Ottawa Aikido Club and we founded two other clubs in the area, with the help of our students. This was about 1978 or '79. Then in 1985 we had black belts ready to take over and we opened our own dojo, the Yoseikan, in a good area of Ottawa. We bought the building, since no one wanted to rent space to us. Many of our students, both children and adults followed us. About thirty of them spent their Christmas vacation building the dojo. It was a work of love. Nobody questioned the difference in the fees. Our instructors have to follow guidelines. They must keep practicing at the main dojo (those who live in the area), they have to attend clinics, kangeiko (January week-long early morning practice), Yoseicamp (intensive week-long austere live-in camp), exams, public demonstrations, etc. We are limiting the quantity in order to maintain the quality. There are quite a few martial arts schools in our area and this is good. People can look around and choose. More and more people are looking for good teaching and dedicated teachers.
AIKI NEWS: Would you give us an idea of how you teach beginners such a complex martial arts system?
AUGÉ: Right now we work with adult beginners up to the shodan level mostly on basic aikido techniques, some basic judo and karate. With children from age 4 to 12, we start with judo, emphasizing practice with both sides of the body and a good attitude, discipline, respect, etc. Safety is a major concern. The style may be hard but injuries are rare. After a couple of years, adults become strong and have enough endurance to be ready to practice the more vigorous judo throws and pins. This gives them more confidence in their abilities. After getting a good command of the pins, they start ground randori. Unlike in conventional judo, they have to turn the partner on his stomach in order to apply a joint lock or a choke. We usually do this as a warm-up or at the end of the practice. A good control of the tewaza is required before the student can move to the other techniques and only the black belts may practice sutemiwaza. With children, it is different. When they are about 12, some may switch to aikido. However, most of them prefer to continue with judo. During the tournament period, we practice 75% judo, 25% aikido. The process is reversed the rest of the time. The ratio may also change. These young people perform in competition along with students from schools that train only for competition. There's one difference though: win or lose, they accept the result and they do not get injured. These students are the future of the Yoseikan in North America. They will bring respect back to aikido in the martial arts community.
AIKI NEWS: You have mentioned the subject of professionalism in the dojo.
AUGÉ: The dojo is a laboratory of human behavior. People are allowed to see themselves as they are and to make the changes they feel are necessary without having to worry about others. At home or at work, if you attempt to establish a new pattern of behavior, people will tease you or get mad at you and you are bound to get discouraged and fail. In the dojo, nobody makes fun of anybody. Many people wander aimlessly in life. But in the right environment, they become conscious of their own potential. Some students have gone back to school, earned degrees, got good jobs, etc. And they keep coming to the dojo to train. Their example stimulates others. Ranks are also awarded on the basis of attendance, attitude, and progress. Requirements are the same for both sexes. We never give ranks in order to reward or encourage students. Promoted students may get more privileges, but they also have more duties. A rank is the temporary statement of the level reached by a student at a certain time. It is never final. It is the teacher's responsibility to educate the students. I feel that generally speaking North Americans are quite open and willing to accept concepts that may not be part of their background. Such an attitude gives them a chance to understand later. A teacher must prepare the environment for the students to learn. At first, most beginners come with the attitude of a consumer. The teacher must give them time to relax and change their minds. When they see the black belts cleaning up the dojo, they are surprised. But later when they realize that the dojo is more than just a gym, they change their mind. I believe in the philosophy of responsibility. The body follows the dominant thought: we become what we think about. The students never miss a teacher's dominant thoughts. This is why some teachers attract students and keep them and some others don't. Teachers must keep training and take good care of their health. Age and injuries are never excuses for not practicing, but are rather an indication that there is something wrong with the teacher's approach. Attitude sets the standard much more than words. There is a whole network of serious people. The question is how to reach them. There is a saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I also believe that when the teacher is ready, the student will appear.
AIKI NEWS: Well put.
AUGÉ: From what I have seen, some teachers use the dojo as a place to hunt for sexual encounter. This destroys a dojo. If the teacher starts dating or having special relationships with some students, this creates jealousies, teacher's pets, double standards for promotion, and this kind of thing, not to mention the threat to safety while practicing. Teachers must be like parents to their students. If you go to bed with your students or get drunk together, how do you expect them to react when you must correct their behavior in the dojo? Also, some spouses wonder why their partners spend so much time at the dojo. They feel very insecure. In Japan, it's the opposite. A wife will think, "Oh, my husband is away. I have a free evening!" We have a few social events during the year where everyone's family participates. They can see the interactions between our students. There's no funny business going on, and relationships are healthy. The people we train and who qualify as instructors have to be of good character and accept this policy. If an instructor marries a student, then they cannot be in the same class. It's basic common sense.
AIKI NEWS: Is this a formal rule?
AUGÉ: No, but the people concerned understand that it is good for them. This way the instructor is preserved and the spouse's mind is freer. This also makes them more serious about their intentions. Kaoru and I have been discussing our observations on this subject. The Japanese have an unspoken rule about this. I never saw anything funny going on at the Yoseikan Hombu. Sensei would not have tolerated that. I think that it's very important to keep a good spirit in the dojo and to maintain the tranquility of mind of the spouses.
AIKI NEWS: Do you have any plans to make a videotape of Yoseikan Aikido?
AUGÉ: Yes, but not until the Yoseikan is better established. It would have to be a high-quality professional videotape. A film may show the appearance of a system, but it never reveals its substance. In other words, it does not teach where to apply strength in techniques. A few years ago, I didn't mind being filmed when I gave seminars. But I realized the people were relying on the video instead of paying attention and working out on their own. Mochizuki Sensei had told me about that the first time he came to North America in 1979. However, I had to experience it for myself.
AIKI NEWS: Please describe the present status of Yoseikan Budo in North America.
AUGÉ: Due to the emphasis on quality, Yoseikan Budo cannot become a wide-spread martial art. I used to travel a bit for seminars. The results were mediocre because people were taking it for granted that I had to go and promote them. Then some people tried to approach Mochizuki Sensei directly in order to get promoted, some forged my signature, and some broke away. It was years ago. Now people who want to study Yoseikan Budo have to come to us in order to study not only the techniques, but also the spirit, how we motivate and lead students. When the distance is an obstacle, it becomes evident that the person's real priorities are somewhere else. Most of our black belts have been going to Japan with us on a regular basis for the specific purpose of staying studying at the Yoseikan. Some students of Mr. Dan Yvan in California have been coming up to Ottawa regularly for training. When we see people with such a good attitude, then we are willing to help them. Our students are also willing to help. Enthusiasm is contagious, you know that at Aiki News. We also have a few people in the Southern U. S., two clubs in the Montreal area, but for the time being, the real core of Yoseikan Budo in North America is in the Ottawa area.
AIKI NEWS: You have a successful dojo. Many aikido students would like to make a living from teaching and have their own dojo. What kind of advice do you have for them?
AUGÉ: First of all, it is essential to have a good teacher. Many people pick up a martial art because it is conveniently located, cheap, or does not interfere with their schedule. If your priority is to become a professional, you will accept any conditions. Go to university, study related fields, such as physical education, business administration, classical philosophy, history, foreign languages, read martial arts magazines. Do not worry about job openings: there won't be any, and you will have to crate them. But if you study and practice the principles of mutual welfare and prosperity, many people will want to study with you. By training your awareness, you will also be in a better position to detect those who are unworthy of your attention and avoid wasting your energy on them. If you keep training your body and your mind, people will know it and will be inspired by you, whatever your age. Self-confidence comes from doing, not trying. Trying is the prepared excuse in case of failure. Erase it from your vocabulary. When you walk into a dojo and you see someone like Mochizuki sensei or Shioda Sensei, you know what I mean. Do not expect to become very rich, although you will be able to live well. This is important if you want to have family support. Be able to study for yourself, encourage students who wish to teach, etc. Start teaching at public places in order to gain experience, save money and open your dojo. If your students like you they will always follow you. Always encourage the good students. This means start your class on time, and teach even if only one student shows up. Here we have the "snowstorm special class." Even during very bad weather we have more than 50% attendance! Another point to remember: your students will treat you the same way you treat your teacher. And a last bit of advice: get married later, once you have established your path, since most spouses will tend to accept you as you are when you marry. It is much harder to choose to become a full-time martial artist after marriage since success depends so much on the spouse's support.