Sunday, November 19, 2017

Fire and Rain

I've seen fire and I've seen rain.
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
but I always thought that I'd see you again
…once, before the end. 

 

You sort through the students to find the Black Belt.
You sort through the Black Belts to find an instructor candidate,
You sort through the Instructor Candidate to find an instructor.
Then the true sorting begins to take place.
 

 When I became an Isshinryu student I only wanted to learn karate,
Isshinryu karate.

When I became a black belt, there were no crowds to congratulate me,
Just my Isshinryu karate.
Then to soon, I was on my own,
With my Isshinryu karate.

 
I was very much in similar circumstances as the original returning Isshinryu students.
Or course it was also quite different,
Karate itself was not unknown,
I just lived where there were no other in Isshinryu around.
 

I thought only of myself, realizing I needed others to do my karate with,
I chose to become an instructor.
Not having financial resources to use, nor seeing karate as a revenue stream,
I approached the Scranton Boys Club and offered my services
as a volunteer instructor for youth.
 
From there I began as an instructor.
Of course all I really knew was to share karate at the pace and intensity
I just endured.
And beginning with a few students who also studied with Charles Murray,
Began my program.
 

And with a few short months everyone except those initial students,
Left the program.
I had a lot to learn,
And quickly.

 My one resource was my wife,
She was a physical education instructor,
And patiently she began to explain how to listen to what the students were telling you,
And how to develop their needs.

 So I picked myself up,
Dusted myself off,
And Started all over again,
 
And the program began to be a success.
 

I also learned a great deal about what the Boy’s Clubs were about.
And it wasn’t to be a karate program.
It was for the Youth of the community.
To get the kids off the street,
Help them find their purpose in life,
And to have some fun along the way.

 
Isshinryu was what I did.

Karate was simply a tool to help shape some kids,
For life.

 

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