I've had an interest in martial arts since seeing a movie trailer for a film called "The Chinese Boxer" in my mid-teens. Shortly thereafter, I went to the cinema to see "Five Fingers of Death."
Serendipity took a couple of years to bring David Crook into my life, or mine into his. I trained Kung Fu with him for eighteen fantastic months, pretty much all private lessons, him and me in a park across the road from the building in which we both worked.
Martial arts did become a passion, avid practice of various Kung Fu styles but definitely majoring in Wing Chun, with Rick Spain, earning a gold instructor's sash after about six years, and a red Master's level sash after about twenty. Alongside this I was training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and was awarded my black belt at the end of 2013 by Anthony Lange ... About a week before I retired from full time work as a computer programmer.
My passion was martial arts. I have taught it on and off for at least twenty years. I taught two or more regular evening classes a week for years. Sometimes I totally loved it, other times not quite so much.
Make your job your passion, and you'll never work a day in your life. I thought about making that jump, pulling the trigger starting an academy, getting paid for my passion.
I never did. And looking back, I don't regret it.
I was good at maths and a bit of a Science nerd at school. Not an avid student, did enough to make it through without busting a gut. I majored in computer science and pure mathematics at university. Worked as a programmer while slowly and reluctantly becoming a responsible adult. Took responsibility for computer operations at one job, and found I was actually starting to enjoy myself there. Good friends, met my future wife at work.
I've had seven jobs, though a couple were for consulting companies where I had multiple assignments and sites. I was retrenched/fired twice. Excellent times, horrible times. Always at least a couple of good friends at work. As at the martial arts academies.
Coming out the other end, I was free. I could train martial arts pretty much as often as my body could handle and my wife could tolerate. But ... I took an online course on Android development. It took most of a year. I got full marks for every module and assignment, and my final project won a prize ... One of the top thirty projects from a starting student base of several thousand. It was hard work and I only just got it completed on time.
I've done other programming courses since. I'm doing on now on Java and Data Structures. And this is exactly what I want to be doing with my time. Besides the 3-5 Jiu Jitsu sessions per week and walks and runs in Pennant Hills Park, plus time with my wife and cats.
I wouldn't consider programming my passion, ever. But as a career choice ... Things worked out very well. And most of what I wanted from martial arts I've managed to get, even as an avocation.
More than one way to follow that passion and live a good life.