I recently pulled out an old dogi that I used when I first started karate and wore to earn my Shodan. Funny enough, it was an older Tokaido JKA Master Gi like the one here. It was torn at the top, stained from sweat and blood, and smelled of must--that beautiful karate must. More importantly, when I unrolled it, a wave of memories were released as if they had been trapped inside waiting to find me. I immediately remembered all of the events that I experienced with that dogi. There were the 6 am morning calls to start summer training. Walking over to the park to perform agility and conditioning exercises with my fellow karate-ka. Then my mind immediately jumped to the brutal 4-hour black belt test that pushed me so far into my energy reserves that I could barely walk a week after. Then there were the moments I shared with all of the amazing karate-ka from all over the world that I had the absolute pleasure of meeting: Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, etc.
The fulfillment, satisfaction, and memories this life has given me can never be replaced. The honor of training with some of the top instructors from all over the world can never be replaced. The deep friendships forged from throwing fists and feet at one another's face as a sign of love, respect, and genuine desire to help them learn a technique that could one day save their life will never be replaced. The utter joy of getting off of work at 5, eating a snack, and then spending the next 5 hours training will never be forgotten (sometimes, unfortunately).
With all of this said, I remembered the reason I started the Oronin Wear brand. It was to help the same crazy and weird people who followed this path and still continue to seek something that they may very well never achieve. With our collective memories of pain, sweat, blood, happiness, fulfillment, honor, and desire to be the best, I truly believe that we can make this small company a well-known name in the world.
Oronin Wear started with me but will end with you.
Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for helping us grow.