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Not Very Good

This is a story.

A visiting student was watching the regular students practicing in the dojo. An old timer was sitting nearby and the visitor asked him about a particular student.

"He's not very good," replied the old timer.

Boosted by the remark, the visitor challenged the student to a kumite match. It was over in just a few seconds. The student easily floored the visitor.

After he recovered, the visitor went back to the old timer. "You said that guy wasn't very good," he protested.

"He isn't," replied the old timer, "he's fantastic!"

The moral of the story is this: take care when you hear someone's assessment of another person's skill. It is easy to misunderstand what they say, and are you sure that you can trust them? Besides, it is reckless to challenge someone like that!


Charles C. Goodin