Re: Paul Kang Sensei Passes Away
What do you say when one of your friends passes on? I have known Paul Kang Sensei my entire Aikido career, over thirty years now. This was a highly intelligent and thoughtful man who brought that talent to his Aikido. If one took a class from him, one could see that everything he did had undergone a whole process of analysis. He didn't do anything "just because".
I remember, back in the early days when we as the senior students, took all the ukemi on the Dan tests. Paul was always the tanto dori uke. He was the uke from hell, I must say. I remember him attacking one of my friends on his nidan test. My friend had been stuck twice and Paul was gone while my friend was still thinking he could grab the first thrust. Paul was that fast. In the end, after having been stabbed several more times, my friend went straight in and knocked Paul flat, not even trying for the knife. At that point Paul calmly started attacking at normal speed so he could show some technique.
Even though I know that there are folks coming along behind, the loss of someone with Paul's depth of experience is something that effects us all. Aikido is changing and no one will exactly match his experience. I know that, when I go to our summer camps this year, there will be a hole there created by his absence. Just one less take on the art that I could benefit from. There will be others, of course, but it's as if you've seen something really rare disappear.
Anyway, I am going to miss him. I wish I had known him better, paid more attention when I had the chance. We cruised along for over thirty years on a path that intersected regularly but was individual in the end. It's going to be sad to look over and not see him moving up the mountain, blazing his own trail as I do mine.