Re: Kevin Choate Passes Away
I have known Kevin Choate for 36 years. There was never a time when he wasn't an integral part of my Aikido world. Students of the same teacher, we "grew up" in Aikido together, He's taught at my school, stayed in my home, we've taught together at all of our ASU big events. The realization that as of a phone call I got this morning, I will never see this man again has left me stunned and in shock. None of my friends know how to process this loss.
I think Kevin Choate had more integrity in his Budo than almost anyone I know. His approach to training was uniquely his own... he had his path and wasn't going to alter it for anyone. I once told him how much I respected his courage in being willing to go to the cutting edge of our art. I said I thought he could be in danger of getting so far out ahead of his audience that they couldn't go there with him (dangerous for a professional teacher). He replied, "I think about that all the time." But he never compromised. He never changed his path to try to "get ahead". He would fall all over himself to show you what he was doing but if you didn't lke what he was doing, well, tough, he wasn't doing it for you... it wasn't a show, it wasn't designed to make him famous. It was his Path and no one else's. Yet, he'd generously share it with you.
I can't calculate the ways in which this is a loss for all of us. When I heard the news I felt like someone had punched me in the gut and I could barely breath. It will be a long time before folks have digested this one. Kevin was one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. Scary smart and possessed of a unique perception on anything you might name. Sharing ones thoughts with this man was always a paradigm shifting event. He never had the predictable point of view. This is not a loss that will go unnoticed nor will the hole he leaves be replaced. Kevin was a "one of" and this is just a devastating piece of news.