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Pouring Tea

When I started to eat lunch with a group of Karate seniors (aged 79, 79 and 62), I noticed that the 62 year old would always pour tea (at Japanese or Chinese restaurants) for the seniors. He would then offer to pour tea for me.

After a few lunches, I gradually realized that I, a 48 year old, was the junior and it was my place to pour the tea, or at least to sincerely offer to do so.

Then I noticed that when we went to a buffet line, the 62 year old would always walk ahead and hand plates to the seniors and then to me.

After a few lunches I realized that I should do this.

The other day, we went to lunch and I got some clam chowder. I noticed that the older sensei did not get any soup, so I offered to go get some for them. It is hard to carry soup and plates when you are older. I made sure to bring back some crackers too.

We have to look for opportunities to assist. We train to see punches and respond to attacks. But we must also train to respond to the needs of those around us, particularly our seniors. It should not matter that a person is a Karate sensei or has high rank. We should be courteous and helpful to all our seniors.

The 62 year old who helped me to realize this, through his example, is Sensei Pat Nakata, who practices the principles of Karate even at lunch!


Charles C. Goodin