Many moons ago, when I was in high school, a buddy and I decided to join the “karate” class at the YWCA.  I grew up being a huge fan of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee movies, as well as a whole bunch of other martial arts films (especially ninja movies, those were cool!).  Now was an opportunity to learn some of that stuff for real!

Thus began my education in the martial arts.  I quickly came to learn that it was not “karate” per se but an art known as Lotus Self-Defense that was from Thailand and was a unique mix of Kenpo Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kung Fu, and Muay Thai (a.k.a. Thai Boxing).  In this style, the head instructor is known as Ajarn.  Ajarn is a Thai word meaning teacher or professor (see also ajahn) and is somewhat akin to Sensei in Japanese martial arts.

Well, long story made somewhat shorter…through years of dedication, hard work, and the help of my buddy and several others, I earned my black belt shortly after graduating high school, and a couple of years later, opened my own school, thus earning the title of Ajarn.  Flash forward a few years, and as I was establishing an online identity, at a time when it was very common to use aliases, I adopted the name AjarnMark, and have stuck with it ever since.

And as Paul Harvey was known for saying, “Now you know…the rest of the story.”