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Succession in Karate

There was a farmer with ten sons. His land was small and rocky. As a result, even with the hard work of all ten sons, the family could barely eke out a living.

When the farmer neared the end of his life, he called his sons together. "Sons", he said, "because the farm is so small, I have decided to leave it to the eldest of you. The others can stay and help, or go off and seek their fortunes. But the farm is too small to split among you. If I did so, none of you could make a living and you all would starve."

So the farm was left to the eldest son.

There was a great musician with ten sons. He taught each of them how to play different musical instruments.

When the musician neared the end of this life, he called his sons together. "Sons," he said, "everything I know I have taught you. Now each of you can make a living as a musician. No matter how much you think you understand music, there is still more too learn. The more you study and practice the art, there more there is. There is no end to it."

So the musician's legacy was left to each of his sons.

There was a great Karate instructor with ten students. When he neared the end of his life, do you think he treated his Karate like a farm or an art? It seems to me that far too many "great" Karate instructors view their art as a small, barren field. Karate is an art, a skill, a limitless resource. There is no end to it.

There was another father who had ten sons, each of whom was born blind. Each day for many years, the father applied medicines and urged his sons to perform eye exercises. Finally, each of them could see perfectly.

When the father neared the end of his life, his sons gathered and asked, "So who gets the farm?"


Charles C. Goodin