Charles Murray had driven me down to stay in his parents’ home on the weekend of my Black Belt examination by the entire IKC under Tom Lewis.
I passed/survived whatever is the appropriate answer, and that night I slept with my new black belt under my pillow.
The next day he drove us back to Scranton.
On that trip he asked me a question. “Not that you are a black belt, what good is that going to do you if you are flying in a jet whose engines fail at 20,000 feet. What good is being a black belt going to do for you?
At that time, not expecting a question like that I responded, “Simple, I would just jump up in the aisle and at the moment of impact would just punch to negate the force of the crash.”
Of course a dumb answer to what seemed a ‘dumb’ question at that time.
Life contains many turns, and now much of it seems like I am in that crashing plane. From the perspective that I have developed and am living with disabilities that have taken so much of my karate from me.
Yet, I still try to jump up into Sanchi stance (or very, very slowly assume sanchin) and attempt that punch (again more is much slower motion).
I do have all my memories of what I have experienced and I work to share them for my students, perhaps to guide their way.
Then the day will come that the ground comes up and smacke me. That is certain to occur.
Then I will know the quality of my punch.