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A Boy, A Ball, And a Bo

by Jim Sorrell
(Covington, Kentucky)

Once, I could not train in karate, but I came anyway to watch class at my dojo. I saw Sensei, a young father, had the dilemma of being the sole instructor for his karateka and being the babysitter for his toddler son.

Sensei solved the problem by working the students in basic karate and sitting his son on the auxiliary deck. This way Sensei could look in both directions.

I saw Sensei placed the boy on the floor with his favorite ball at one hand and a bo staff at the other hand. I saw the little guy was quiet and confused about which object to handle. Sensei grinned at me and instructed the karateka. Both missions accomplished.

We come into the dojo, "young" like the boy. We bring with us our favorite ball; the way we move and act. Sensei handed us the unfamiliar object, the bo; karate instruction. We are confused as we release our ball and grasp our bo. But it does happen as we blend what we know with what we'll learn in karate.

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