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Fill Up Your Bucket

This is a story.

There was a great Karate master who had four senior students. Sadly, he was in failing health and wanted to teach the secrets of the art to at least one student before he died. So he called them all together and said, "Students, I fear that I may die soon and want to teach one of you the inner mysteries of our art. But I need to give you a test first."

At that handed each of them a big wooden bucket. "Fill this and return to me next week and I will select one of you to become my successor."

A week passed and the students gathered before their master, each with their bucket covered by a cloth. The master asked the first student to show what he had brought.

The student removed the cloth and handed his master a bucket filled with coins.

"Do you think this will entitle you to the secrets of our art?" yelled the master, spilling the coins onto the hard wooden floor.

The second student bowed and removed the cloth from his bucket. He held back the urge to grin because he felt sure he had done better than the first student.

The bucket was filled with one hundred dollar bills!

The master was even more enraged. He kicked the bucket sending the hundred dollar bills flying across the room. The bucket hit the student in the head and knocked him to the floor.

The third student actually laughed. He had trained for over thirty years and was a rich business man. "Sensei," he said, "I'm sure you will like this!" He pulled back the cloth and revealed a bucket filled with the finest diamonds.

The master could not have been more angry! He actually beat the student with the bucket until he was nearly unconscious.

Now everyone's eyes turned to the fourth student who had sit quietly with his bucket. "So what have you brought? "demanded the master." The other students were certain that the master would kill the student if he disappointed him. They anxiously knelt around the bucket. Who knows? Maybe the master would kill them too!

The fourth student calmly removed the cloth revealing a bucket filled with water. "What's this?" asked the master.

"Sensei, for the last week I have done nothing but train. This is a bucket filled with my sweat. I have ten more outside."

"You are my successor and I have nothing left to teach you!" exclaimed the master. "The secrets of Karate are written in sweat, not ink."

"What about us?" asked the other students. "What do we get?"

"I'll tell you what," said the master, "you all go outside and drink the other buckets filled with sweat! Maybe you'll learn something! And don't forget this one!"

Skill in Karate cannot be purchased. We each have to fill up our buckets with the sweat of training.

In Hawaii, it is hot and humid. We sweat a lot when we train!


Charles C. Goodin