This is a story.
A guest student had flown into town and went straight to the dojo of Oka Sensei (a made up name), a very traditional and strict instructor of Karate.
The student walked into the dojo wearing his Karate gi and black belt.
Oka Sensei shook his head. "Go out and take off your belt."
The student followed the instruction and returned to the dojo without his belt.
Oka Sensei shook his head. "Go out and remove all the patches from your gi."
This was more difficult, but the student followed the instruction and returned to the dojo without his belt.
Oka Sensei shook his head. "I still see your belt and patches."
Now the student got angry. "Listen! I took off my belt -- a black belt I earned by the way -- and I took off my patches -- one showed that I am a shihan -- a shihan! -- and the others showed that I am also a kyoshi -- a kyoshi! -- and a sensei -- a sensei! I did what you requested. So what's the problem?
Oka Sensei shook his head. "Like I said, I still see your belt -- your black belt -- and your patches -- the ones that show that you are a shihan, a kyoshi, and a sensei. I see all of that and more.
"But how?" demanded the student. "I left my belt and patches outside!"
Oka Sensei shook his head. "No you didn't. You brought them into the dojo. You carry them around as if the belt is tied around your neck and the patches are sewn to your face."
I really like that last part -- "as if the belt is tied around your neck and the patches are sewn to your face." I should get a Pulitzer Prize for that one. Have you ever met people like that?
Charles C. Goodin
P.S. My wife likes to remind me that there is no Pulitzer Prize for Karate, no Nobel Prize either. She likes to keep it real.
This is a story.
Posted by Charles C. Goodin on Sunday, April 10, 2011