The "What makes your Primary art Primary" thread got me to thinking, generally a bad idea but hey. We've got a LOT of high-end, longtime practitioners of various types and methods on here at MT. It is sometimes fun to get a bit of somebody's history by piecing it together from a nugget here, a strand of story there. t But, I thought that I'd just ask. For example, how did Gerry Seymour get so deep into NGA that he went in, came out, got other stuff, then went back inside? That's kjust an example. There's got to be some great stuff in that story, and that's just one personality with a long history out of hundreds available to us here. So, let's do some bio-graphing, eh? I'm sure that the blurbs, I'm not asking y'all for a novel, will create and cause some questions... and I'm hoping for some good stories to flow out of those. Blurb No. 1 - JP3 So, born in '68 in Houston, normal horrible kid who was, apparently, too smart for his own good, that's what they told me, anyway and did normal horrible kid stuff until I was 8. Got ambushed outside the school by a kid named Chris Whittington (yes, i straight up named him), and went crying home to Mama. It's what you do when you're 8. What mom's normally do with a crying 8 year old just didn't seem to be in the cards from my Mama, though. She (she was Director of Nursing at a long-term facility in Missouri), as she introduced me to my first aikido instructor. There I was, 8 y/o kid in a traditional Ueshiba/Hambu style dojo, floundering around in a gi too big for me and trying to learn falls, rolls, throws, something to do with wrists and this almost manic thing about being balanced. I did that for 2 years. The aikido instructor moved away to K.C., so I traded in the aikido gi for a Shotokan gi… then a goju-ryu gi (no, I didn't need to actually trade it in, I used the same one) as those schools first opened, then closed. It surprises me they closed, as looking back on it, it was Chuck Norris' movie heyday. Ah well. Did the Karate thing as a kid, progressed average, for a kid I guess. Then high school rolled around and high school cheerleaders were always seeming to be around the high school atheletes... so... soccer, basketball, baseball and cross-country became interesting. Scroll forward to college. Walked onto the college Basketball team, which was cool. Nearly flunking out due to practice was not. Mama (remember her?) insisted I give up the dream of going to the NBA (kidding), so to "have something to do," I started in TKD. Well, as TKD as the American Taekwondo Association can be back in the day. Stuck with then to second dan, which took a minute. While doing that, moved back to Houston and started hapkido training alongside the TKD, which was all good. Got my paramedic's license during this time frame, and went back to Missouri chasing a Life Flight job. Buka, this is where I gave up the idea of working the door any longer, and also when I started Muay Thai. Ended up not getting the Life Flight job, and moving back down to Houston, and ended up in law school... in Tulsa. That's where, in '95, I started trading teaching TKD for judo classes as a student. THAT was fun! About 5 years of dual training in judo/TKD in this time frame, then back to Houston... now married. Catch meningitis, go into coma, wake up legally blind. No fun. Start Tomiki aikido. That's '99. Kept doing judo, not doing TKD any longer as I'm absolutely NO FUN to spar with.... "Oops, my bad. Didn't mean to hit you at all, much less that hard. I'll call the doctor...". Stick with the Tomiki aikido/aikijutsu since then. Last year I found myself on the mat... not enjoying being there or the first time in 42 years. Figured I'd give it a week, as maybe I was just ina funk. Two more classes, still just going through the motions, irritated with "needing to be there," not a good sign. Talked to my wife about it and she said, "just take some time away. You've got those folks ina good place, they can run themselves for a while." So, i did. Been off the mat for a year and I'm starting to get the twitch to get back... which is why I'm probably posting this. There ya go. Your turn, if you're willing.