Familiar faces. First impression that hit me when I walked into Sensei Jaime's very small dojo were the many familiar faces of dojos past donning gis, the old ceremonies seen through the prism of absence, an exile ending. I just went to watch. My son René stripped down and went in. I looked on with my wife. The basics, the katas, the kiai, all coming back to me in waves of nostalgia. Seeing myself in my son many years ago and thinking how foreign it all may seem to him. The dojo experience, stripped down to its essence, is the brotherhood of karate, that sharing in unision that establishes unbreakable bonds.
There is a time for everything. That weekend, my wife, son, and I went shopping for cheap gis. There never was a time that I had a good gi starting, I said to my son.
A beginning for them, a homecoming for me.