Back of the room, most positive advantage point.
The front row is not necessarily the most fulfilling experience of a martial arts event.
One of many events I have attended as a volunteer, run by an organization that is at the heart of fight events in the Ottawa region. The Muay Thai, MMA, and BJJ community in the capital needs to be thankful for the opportunities provided for their martial artists at the hands of these dedicated and hard working individuals. They are the warriors that work out of OAMA. They do this for their students and all fighters passionate about their craft. Few understand the sacrifices they allow, committing to these events, and all too many take advantage.
I am not a fighter, not in any amateur or professional capacity, but I am a part of this community. I give where I can to assist in the success of those working hard on their personal martial arts goals. Some occasions, a small monetary donation, during others, a donation of my time. Last night consisted of the latter.
I’ve lost count of how many times over the years I have ensured I was a part of the events, offering as much time as my life allows outside work. It’s simple for me to understand why I do it, but not always as clear to those outside of this portion of my world. It allows me the opportunity to be involved in something much larger than myself. During breaks in my training, it kept me connected to the community and my team. I feel a sense of pride watching the fighters do what they love, while being a tiny part of the events that allow them to do it.
OAMA is the gym that encouraged me to feel like I was part of a team and family, and I am determined to do my part to make others feel that way. When I give my time, I feel like I am giving back to what they continuously give me. It’s such a warm, inviting environment and I hope to lend a hand, and a smiling, friendly face for many years to come.
It’s not always about what your gym can do for you, just as OAMA demonstrates it’s not always about what your students can do for you. It’s a “give and give” mentality that takes a successful team and turns them into a family.