Thursday, January 25, 2007

All Thumbs

Everyone needs a hobby. In the old TV show M*A*S*H , Colonel Potter's hobby is painting. In various episodes, he paints Hawkeye, Charles, and even himself on Sophie the mare. In one particular episode, it appears he is painting the Korean landscape. He holds up his thumb, studies his model carefully, then paints a bit. When the viewer actually gets to see the finished painting, we discover that Colonel Potter is painting, not the scenery, but a picture of his thumb.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for your

I present to you, my thumb:

We had rank tests tonight at the dojo. Joshua and Barrett were testing for their Ik-kyus. Tuesday night, after doing basics, then kata by the numbers as a class, we had an open workout for the rest of the class. Watching Josh and Barrett going over kata, and bunkai, and self defense...I almost felt jealous. They were concentrating. They were focused. They were serious. They were working. I thought to myself, "If I'd had someone like that to work on my black belt stuff with, I might have felt a little more prepared for the test."

But no. I had to work with James.

"Come on, James. Let's do bunkai." "Come on, James, let's work on some self defense." "James, let's do kata." "James! Let's do something. Anything."

When sensei would send us off to work on stuff for our test, James would make a beeline straight for the chair, grab his cell phone and start texting. I might get him to go over one kata with me, but then I'd end up working out by myself. Even the two man routines, like two man basics and bo vs bo kumite, he'd maybe do them one time, then he'd run right back to that cell phone. I finally taught bo vs bo to Josh, just so I'd have somebody to practice it with.

I find it extremely funny that James is still mad because he didn't get his full black belt. He said only Tuesday night, "It was only two months until my birthday. They could have given it to me." I guess he doesn't realize that his age wasn't why he didn't get it. He didn't get it because he didn't earn it.



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