This is a story.
An instructor boasted that he taught the "best Karate money can buy" and charged his students accordingly, particularly for dan rankings. One student believed this, and when he eventually earned his 5th dan, had to mortgage his house to pay for it.
As it happened, this 5th dan was at a restaurant one night and picked a fight with a Karate student from another dojo. This other dojo was not fancy at all. In fact, it was in a garage, and the Sensei awarded no ranks or titles.
The 5th dan was supremely confident and kept pressing and pushing. Unable to avoid it, the other student finally defended himself and knocked the 5th dan out with a simple punch.
When he awoke, the 5th dan was beside himself. How could a no rank, nobody defeat him so easily? Hadn't he paid for the best Karate money could buy?
The next morning, he went to his dojo and confronted his instructor. "You said that you taught the best Karate money could buy!" he yelled. "How could that guy beat me?"
The instructor thought about it and decided to come clean. "I do teach the best Karate that money can buy," he confessed. "But that guy's Sensei teaches the best Karate."
The moral of the story is that Karate skill is not something that can be bought or sold, it is only earned through hard training. The best dojo could be in a garage, house, yard, church, recreation center, park... anywhere. And the best Sensei will probably not look like what the public thinks a "good" Sensei would look like. He or she will probably be an unassuming, unpretentious, down to earth person.
Be careful. For every person willing to "buy" Karate, there will be person willing to "sell" it.
Also, that 5th dan should not have picked a fight!
Charles C. Goodin
This is a story.
Posted by Charles C. Goodin on Tuesday, July 29, 2008