|When did this happen..?|
While in Canada recently I found myself, on many occasions, in a strange situation....well strange for me at any rate. I found that I had become a part of the "top table", the sensei, the people who knew what they were doing; somehow seniority had crept up on me and there I was.......totally unprepared!
When we experience the surreal it's a great opportunity to re-calibrate our opinion of ourselves. Had I suddenly become an all-knowing sage who never gets it wrong, or had I just been at this stuff a bit longer than most others in the room? It's an easy question to answer for me, but I've come across folks in karate who would sell their granny into slavery to be sitting where I was.
I read a great essay recently on the different names, ranks, grades, and titles, being used in relation to karate these days. As I read the piece I realised that I had acquired a number of them myself over the past 41 years; still, it never dawns on me to use any of them except two, deshi and sensei. The first I apply to myself all the time, the second only sometimes.
There are those who believe themselves entitled to recognition because of what they have done in karate; I've always believed that being able to do it is recognition enough!