Well, this is the end. In the beginning, I came here later than most of the class. When I did get here I fell in love with Wudang and the community of the school. I was very excited when I became accepted into the class. It was my initial goal to be part of San Ban, and I cannot express how much being in the class has taught me. However, I am even more at a loss of words when I try to express what my kungfu brothers and sisters have come to mean to me over the years. The experiences that we have had over time, although difficult and trying at times, have bonded us together in a way that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
I have learned so much of myself during my time here. Things that I never expected to encounter, and others that were very difficult to face. Although throughout my entire time here, those around me have always lended help when they could, and more importantly, when they didn’t know they were doing it. Here, in Wudang, I have found my family. Not only have I found my family, but I am even on my way to starting my own soon. I could not be happier! And I am so grateful for being able to share this time in my life with such good company.
If there was something that I could impart upon everyone here this morning, it would be this: Don’t give up. We all face very difficult things in our lives, and we will all continue to. The only way to face these things is to be well prepared and make a clear plan to follow. Stand up for the things you believe in and don’t be afraid to show your conviction. Because when the day comes that you are in the place that you have dreamed to be, you will look back and think about how you got there. I hope that when you all get there that you can be proud of the past that brought you there. And I wish that you will all find yourself surrounded by friends and family all along the way. In this, I have been very lucky. And now, with us departing soon, I can only say goodbye and thank you.
To Shifu, I am grateful to you for giving me the chance to be a part of this experience.
To San Ban, over the years you guys have been my fuel and you will always continue to inspire me.
And to everyone, I wish that you find your paths and help others when they have lost their way. I hope that we can all make a change and better ourselves and those around us.
This is the end of an era, but the beginning of a much bigger adventure.