By Budokan Israel participant Jordan, 18, Baltimore
I’ve been to Israel only once before my stint with Budokan, and that was for a month long high school senior trip. I knew by the end of that trip I needed to spend more time in the land of my people, but I wanted a unique Israel experience; and boy did I get it! In the five months I spent on Budokan, we travelled all over the country, “served” for a week in the IDF, lived with Zionists, pacifists, and Christian Arabs, and met AMAZING people. Not to mention learned self defense from some of Israel’s best martial arts instructors.
Also, I’m glad to say, we all got in better physical shape. However, for all the physical changes experienced, they do not compare in the slightest to our mental and emotional growth. Budokan instills in you the confidence to trust yourself, especially in new and often scary situations.
Now, as I get ready to begin at Virginia Tech in their Marine Corps training program, I know that I am infinitely more prepared for what lies ahead of me. How many people can say they’ve hiked in the hills of Jerusalem or fought under the supervision the Krav Maga creators?
Not many can talk about living with Australians, Hungarians, Americans, Canadians, British, and French under one roof either. Coming from the woods of Baltimore, I never imagined I would use the shores of the Mediterranean as a Karate Dojo, or the heat of the Negev as an excuse to wear shorts in February!