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Relative Humility

I have been fortunate to meet many senior Karate instructors.

I have met 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th dan who are so humble and unassuming that you might not even know that they practice Karate.

I have also met green and brown belts who are so full of themselves that you can only shake your head.

And have you met the shodan who acts like his Sensei's rank? Yikes! His Sensei is a hachidan so he acts like a hachidan too. I guess that is rank by association.

When it comes down to it, it all depends on the person. That sounds nice, but it really isn't. I hold senior yudansha to a much higher and more demanding standard. An arrogant brown belt might be forgiven. He still has a lot to learn. But an arrogant senior yudansha has already learned a lot, and it has done no good.

We all should hold ourselves to a very high standard, and practice character as much (actually more) than we do kata or techniques.

Come to think of it, they don't give belts or titles for character. Just be a good person.


Charles C. Goodin