I've never met Marchant-Sensei, but from what I've read of her life and times she is a Dame of ever there were one. I'm grateful to be a part of IOGKF, humbled to share a /mon/. There will always be cups for tea at my table for her.
Linda Marchant-Sensei is the highest ranking female karateka in IOGKF. She had a high-paying job in the UK, and left it behind to pursue her passion as a martial artist. She succeeded, too. Like every rounded pebble that tumbles over Niagara Falls, you don't become so well rounded without tumbling a long way, getting knocked around and bumped, before becoming just as smooth as the waters that carry you through time.
On the other side of this thought trail stands a fellow karateka in my dojo, a /Senpai/ to me, also dedicated beyond compare. An artist, she studies the body in total, learning to read every curve and arch, working in the dojo to see how those angles change and shape the /gi/ which shroud the figures inside. She is so young to carry this largesse of curiosity, with shoulders already conditioned to bear such weight on a very thin frame. She could remind us all that "thin" and "frail" are not synonyms.
The feminine side of karate is so often characterized by a white crane. To stand before a white crane demands respect for every such creature that ever put itself through the rigor to learn to fly.
These days it is impossible to say just what I mean. As I continue to fight nausea, pain and fatigue, my feelings and thoughts have the impish drive to swell in my head and demand to be known. I have only a fraction of the energy I need to host them all, barely enough. My blog posts may be short for a time but I will continue writing them. It makes me sad to report that I'm still sick. Even though Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a cradle-to-grave companion it is still very much unwelcome.
This is a tournament week. I'll harden my thoughts to the point that, even if I don't fight this time, I truly have yet to spread my wings. I must believe that old axiom that says, "the best is yet to come," because I am nowhere near as fierce as I shall be when I finally fly. If femaleness of what I've got to work with, then truly, I am in the downy company of the finest flock.