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Judging the Best Student

This is another story.

Two senior Karate instructors took their top students to be examined by a great Karate master. Under the piercing eye of the master, the two students (Sam and Sally) performed their kata and applications. After many hours, the master declared that he was ready to declare which student was the best.

"Technically," began the master, "these students are equal in every respect."

"So who is the best?" pressed Sam's instructor, certain that his student would win.

"Sally is definitely the best!" declared the master.

"But why?" asked Sam's instructor. "You said that they are equal in every respect."

"Technically," explained the master. "Sam is certainly strong. However, so is Sally -- and her skill is equaled by her reluctance to use it."

The moral of the story is that technical ability (destructive power) must be balanced by a reluctance to use it (reason and discretion). The open hand always covers the fist, until it becomes a last resort. Then the genie is let out of the bottle, so to speak.


Charles C. Goodin