Ideological shortsightedness: the story of Judo John

Some years ago, I bumped into a former senior karate student at the supermarket. I'll call him "Judo John" 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 John. So I seized the opportunity to offer him his DVD (for nothing in return, obviously). 

Judo John 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 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 John. 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.


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