Ideological shortsightedness: the story of Judo Joe
Some years ago, I bumped into a former senior karate student at the supermarket. I'll call him "Judo Joe" on account of his grappling expertise.
I‘d just been through all my tapes and had transferred the material to computer. I had heaps of student footage (kata, kumite, etc.) which I had burned onto DVDs for the students' posterity. Of course, I had made a video for Judo Joe. So I seized the opportunity to offer him his DVD (for nothing in return, obviously).
Judo Joe openly sneered and said “I have no interest in the external arts now that I do Yang style tai chi. What would I do with that video?”
I suspect he thought my offer was an attempt to 'entice' him back to karate training. Anyone who is a martial arts teacher knows that nothing could be further from the truth: none of us goes about chasing former students. I wanted to give him his own training footage - nothing more, nothing less.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Maybe show it to your grandkids?” I gave him my contact details and left.
My computer hard drive with the backup videos failed spectacularly but I kept his DVD for years. He never collected it. Yesterday I threw it in the bin as part of a long-overdue cleanup. What a loss for him.
He really kicked ass, did Judo Joe. All those memories are now going to pass without a trace. As an old man he can’t exactly re-create moments from 25-30 years ago. Not for himself or his grandkids. That’s the price of ideological short-sightedness and arrogance.