My brother the Ninja and my healing journey

My brother Shihan David Gagnon. Muhai-Ninpo is a traditional, non-competitive Japanese Martial Arts school

When the doctor told me I had prostate cancer, all I heard was the word “cancer,” and everything else was a blur. I thought my life was over, my mind shut down, and I felt alone. When I finally opened up and talked about it, I realized it was helpful and emotionally healing to share. At first, it was incredibly hard to talk about the experience, but over time, I found it incredibly therapeutic.

Since sharing, I’ve become closer with many friends and family, met new friends, and reconnected with many childhood buddies. All who have helped me tremendously with my recovery and well being. I’m incredibly grateful and blessed for all the kind words and encouragement along the way. My heart is deeply touched.

In the spirit of continuing on my healing journey, I reflect on the early days of my martial arts training. It all started in 1973, when my younger brother, David, and I watched the movie Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee. It was unlike anything else that we had ever seen before and must have watched it hundreds of times since. As kids, we knew every scene, every move and all of the dialogue. Together, we’d rehearse the fight scenes and imitate the voices of all the actors. Our father recognized our enthusiasm and made us every weapon in the movie.

Over the years, David trained in many different martial-arts styles — later in life, he lived in Japan for ten years to study ninjutsu. Since then, he earned his permanent US residency and citizenship in 1997 by demonstrating extraordinary expertise in the Martial Arts. Over the years, David has taught students of all ages and abilities, including law enforcement, security officers, stage combat performers, and Hollywood stuntmen.

In the spirit of continuing on my healing journey, David continues to provide me with the inspiration, motivation and confidence to keep moving forward.

For more information, please check out his dojo Shihan (師範) David Gagnon

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