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Itosu & Matsumura (Pretend)

This is a pretend reinactment of how it might have been when Anko Itsu started training with Sokon Matsumura, if they had lived today. This is fiction.

Itosu: Hello, I would like to learn Karate from you.

Matsumura: Good. First you must sign this release.

Itosu: What is that?

Matsumura: It says that you will not sue me if you are hurt. You never know, the King might come down and ask you to fight a bull. Lucky for me, I didn't get hurt when he asked me.

You must also sign this form.

Itosu: What is that?

Matsumura: It is a contract. It says that you will pay the registration fee and the monthly tuition for the next ten years.

Itosu: Ten years?

Matsumura: Yes, if you quit, it is still payable. The form also allows me to take the tuition directly from your checking account every month.

Itosu: Wow, I never realized there were such costs. Are there others?

Matsumura: Just for siging up to test, testing, certificates, belts, titles, tournments, and special training.

Itosu: By special training, do you mean at the hakka?

Matsumura: No, but that's a good idea. I could charge extra for that. Last, but not least, you have to sign this form.

Itosu: Is that the last? What is it?

Matsumura: A non-competition agreement. If you quit, you cannot teach within 100 miles from here for the next 20 years.

Itosu: 100 miles? I'd have to move to Japan.

Matsumura: That's right, so you'd better not quit. But if you act today, I will throw in a free gi.

Itosu: Gi? But you train in your regular clothes. Gi's haven't been invented yet.

Matsumura: Oh that's right. Well, let's forget the whole thing. You can be my student for no tuition, with no papers, based on mutual respect and trust. Your sincerity and effort will be your payment. How about that?

Itosu: That sounds very good, Sensei.


Charles C. Goodin