Written circa 2001 by Terence Micharoni
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved martial arts. As a young lad, I used to watch all those corny kung fu shows every Saturday. Then came 1983. The ninja craze was born, and I became obsessed with it. I bought and traded tons of shurikens (A/K/A Chinese stars) in the grammar school, and bought several other ninja-related items as well (hand claws, blo-guns, books, etc.).
My friends and I used to throw them in my backyard at targets, the garage, and some doll I pretended was my sister. I wanted to be like Sho Kasugi (a popular ninja movie star in the 80’s) when I grew up. I just had to find a ninja school somewhere.
Well, I never did find that school. To make a long story short, I was at the mall one day in May, 1993 when someone from the NY Institute Of Martial Arts (a popular tae-kwon-do dojang in Staten Island, NY) was giving out posters and sign-up information, and I took one. I let about a week or two go by, and realized I was an adult, and certainly wasn’t getting any younger. So I called up, came in, and signed up.
My first day was Monday, June 7, 1993. I wasn’t nervous, since two girls were there just starting also. As time moved by, I slowly moved up in rank. Then came the big day, on March 10, 1996, the day I was to become a black belt. I had to do three fairly hard breaks, three step-sparring, one form, and one brick break. Well, I passed, and am proud to be a first degree black belt in tae-kwon-do. I haven’t been to a karate class since 2000, but would love to go back one day soon.