What is the 50 State Challenge? Want to join the Challenge? Email me here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Although I have been bubbling with excitement about starting this project, there hasn't been much to tell.  I'm sure no one wants to hear all the mundane details of booking my plane ticket or shopping for a camera.

Proof that my new camera works.  And because
there might not be enough cats on the Internet.
There are a few things to share, though.  First, I'm really moved by how supportive everyone has been of this project.  Once I made the blog and the Facebook page live, friends and acquaintances reached out to me with encouragement and contacts.  That is awesome and appreciated, but what really floored me was getting the same from complete strangers.  

Iain Abernethy, who is only one weekend of seminars closer than a complete stranger, really went out of his way to help me get this project started.  I would have thought that someone like him would be too busy to make time for someone he's barely met, but he set aside time for a phone call (or as I have been calling it, the Interactive Iain Abernethy Podcast) and he had some great suggestions.

In particular, credit goes to him for the idea of a "takeaway technique" from each school.  I figured by the later stages of this project, I could teach a lot of classes like "Four Philosophies for Improving Power" or "Five Different Styles of Sparring" or the like. Certainly I aim to share what I learn over the course of doing this.  But his idea of taking a specific technique from one school to the next and creating a chain of cross-pollination was too brilliant to pass up.

Another suggestion of his was reading Are You Dave Gorman? by Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace.  It's a book about the antics surrounding Dave Gorman's quest to find other people with the same name.  I found it to be a very entertaining read.  I don't expect this blog to be a comedy, but funny things are inevitable when you travel, and I wouldn't be so selfish as to keep those things to myself.  

When I was a kid, only really old books belonging to my parents had yellow
pages.  Now books published in the early 2000's come pre-aged with yellow pages. 
The only stop that is officially booked right now is West Seattle Karate.  In setting it up, Kris Wilder was very kind in his support.  I could tell how busy he was.  It was a hair-on-fire kind of day for him when we first spoke, but he made time for me nonetheless.  He had the great idea of supporting West Seattle Food Bank with fresh fruits and vegetables since those tend to be scarce in food banks.  I don't know what I should expect to learn when I visit, and I'm happy to keep it a surprise, but he has asked me to teach some kicking to his students.

Even though the trip to Seattle has occupied most of my planning time, I've put a little thought into the next leg of the project.  I hope to do a driving tour of the Midwest, though nothing has been finalized yet.  That said, if anyone in Ohio or Indiana is interested in hosting this project sometime in September, please contact me.  

I'll post again when there's more to tell.  For now, thanks so much for your messages and emails.  You guys are awesome.