The Old Guys

9:57 PM Monday, February 28, 2011

You know what I like, I like the old guys, the old karate-ka, the old judo-ka. Nothing to prove, smile easily, and just all around pleasant.

Let me tell you this story to illustrate my point. I was at a tournament and the guy running the show was in his eighties, looked sixty and smiled easily. He made decisions easily, no drama if something happened that was out of the ordinary, well he just fixed it. He didn't deal with it, he fixed it, a big difference in my book.

Then of course there was the other guy that glowered sternly at everybody with his best sensei eyes. This guy would do a Lee Majors imitation by lifting one eyebrow in the direction he looked and pause with that, “I am sizing you up, baby” look.

At the end of the day, the old guy went around and shook hands, thanked people for their participation, smiled a lot, smiled some more, and said, “Hope to see you next time.” The other guy, cornered me (I was just the guy in proximity) reached into the back pocket of his gi and pulled a photo out of his wallet.

“You know who that is?” “Uh, that is you right.” I guessed. “Yeah but, next to me, who's that.” I looked for a moment at the bent picture, “I, gotta say, I don't know.” His finger pointed to the picture again. “That is me, me and Joe Lewis.” To make this more awkward, we have seen each other around but never really spoken, he just bushwhacks me on the way out the door to show me his picture of him and Joe Lewis, like I said proximity.

One guy, with nothing to prove, the other guy still needed to add more to who he was.

I like the old guys, easy, smiling, nothing to prove.

And thanks for taking the time to read this little observational ramble, I know I feel better.


  1. I feel better too, thanks!

    Charles James

  2. I would have probably said something like, "Really! All this time, I thought Joe Lewis was a African American!"

    Patrick Parker

  3. Oh Patrick, you show your age. How many times did you see him fight?



    Lawrence Kane & Kris Wilder

  4. He had a back pocket on his gi pants?


  5. I know a couple of old guys like that. Lovely to spend time with even though you know they could break you in half, haha. As for the other kind you mentioned, the reason I moved from one dojo to another years ago was that I always find it hard to learn from someone I don't respect. There is just no need for the attitude. I just find it boring. Great post, Kris.


  6. Excellent observation. Thanks for sharing it. I totally agree with you. If you got the goods, you don't have to prove it. Martial arts used to teach us to be humble. Too many today in the martial arts are just jerks. The spirit of martial arts is not arrogance and pride. It is humility and service. Will we ever get back to those days? I have written some articles about the martial arts, uniforms, schools, etc. You can read them on my blog if you are interested. If not, keep up the good work.


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