“I have only ever asked God for enough and he has always provided.”
—Joe Sheya (my first martial art instructor)
I am have never been shy about discussing the large degree to which my late hapkido teacher, Joe Sheya, impacted my life. He passed away in 2014, but some of the lessons he passed onto me and others near me still resonate within me as being as, or more, true than ever. Recently I am reminded of the above statement I heard him say on many occasions.
Joe was not a financially wealthy man. He was a career school teacher who took side jobs so that he could enjoy his hobbies of motorcycle riding, scuba diving, and later flying airplanes (a hobby cut short for medical reasons) and boating. In addition to these, he enjoyed wearing nice clothes, going to the movies, and going out to eat whenever the mood suited him, but he always worked hard in order to be able to afford what he understood to be luxuries.
In spite of running a dojang (Korean martial art academy) for essentially his entire adult life, he never made money off of martial arts, even though he tried to in various ways throughout the years. He lived in a small home built just for him that had everything he needed, nothing more, and nothing less. Every time the subject of money, and especially wealth, came up, he would, at least to my memory, always say the same thing, “I have only ever asked God for enough and he has always provided.”
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown, unless otherwise noted).
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