I was about 12 when I attended a karate class. My parents urged me to take up a sport, so I chose karate, influenced by the countless hours watching SpongeBob and Sandy square off against each other in wacky outfits. SpongeBob was probably one of my favorite cartoons, and it had an undeniable influence in my early childhood years.
I learned a lot from those classes. Back then I thought I would never stop karate, and I knew how much I loved practicing it. It wasn’t just the self-defense techniques that I learned. There was really only thing that really stuck with me over those conversations that I had with my sensei was about. I’d put it in quotes, but I don’t really remember exactly what he said.
"The reason you join karate changes as you grow older. Some might be learning to beat up some kid or become stronger. But the more you practice the more you learn that you’re not doing it for the same reason anymore."
Okay so I put it in quotes anyway. But the point is that it stuck with me.
The other thing is that I’ve also been into men’s style and clothing for a long time now. I think it’s been about three years since, and the improvements in my learning have been vast, all of my education coming from the internet.
Back then, the websites I read about men’s style was highly technical and scientific. There was one post about how one’s skin complexion affected the colors of your outfits. Now that I think about it, it was pretty weird. It was weird that they talked about how things would look better on certain people, like how some asian dude looked better than Ryan Gosling because of the contrast in his skin. It was…weird.
Well I’m not in a position to judge. Now I’ve become someone who wants jeans and sweatshirts that are about triple the value of normal ones — with detailing that even a keen observer would be sure to miss. Someone who wants to wear Neapolitan suits and shirts, despite being in an environment that is either sweltering hot or currently experiencing a torrential downpour. It’s impractical. And honestly, kinda weird.
What I realized from these hobbies though (and also the advice my sensei gave me — okay it was mostly from my sensei), that there’s something more to liking something than just what’s superficial about it. Hobbies that people get into and are passionate about, for one thing or another, change you as a person, not only through what you learn about your hobby, but also what you learn about yourself.
And I learned I get into some pretty weird shit.