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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Personal Stories, Philosophy » Blood, Loyalty, and Family

Blood, Loyalty, and Family

Recently, my family and I had the opportunity to tour a little bit of Italy for a long vacation. We spent five days in Rome and ended with five days in Monreale, Sicily. The opportunity came about because my youngest, Venezuelan sister was marrying the Italian man of her dreams. (An epic wedding reception to be sure.)

Kenpo Seminar, Family Reunion, or Both?

Kenpo Seminar, Family Reunion, or Both?

Understand, I was born an only child but have six siblings: two brothers and four sisters. This is because, during my high school and college youth, my family hosted six exchange students. They became part of our family. Occasionally though, I will meet people who don’t understand why exchange students would be considered family. While I’m not seeking anyone’s approval, it has made for some interesting conversations.

Recently, through the martial arts community, I’ve been exposed to a saying which better and clearly explains the relationship I have with my siblings. “Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family.

The two statements in the saying aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Some blood relatives will be the most loyal family members you’ll have your entire life. But, we all have relatives who we rarely speak with, hardly ever see, maybe get a Christmas card from, or post “Happy Birthday” on their Facebook wall. We all also probably have non-blood related people who are involved closely in our daily lives, understand our goals, and are there when we need them most.

In my Kenpo world, there are people I sweat with, bleed with, have cried with, and put my trust in every time we step on the mat together. If things in my life went sideways, I know with a few phone calls there would be a small army of martial artists at my side in just a few hours. Loyalty such as this is how I define family.

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Sam Bowley
McKinney, TX

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