Re: Don Modesto Passes Away
Don was a lovely man. Like most of us, he had many paradoxes. He was innately gentle and kind, but drawn to practice in one of the most ferocious aikido dojo in Japan (and definitely not an oxymoron in this case), the Reimeijuku of Kuwamori Shigeyuki. Very well-read, and very liberal in his publicly voiced politics, he always defended his views with fact and reasoning, never personal attacks. I worked with him on the mat only a few times - but we were kyodai-deshi (Brother students), as I, too, had trained at Reimeijuku at a different time, and I'd also trained with a lot of his teachers in a brief, but very rich time in Florida. He was a sterling training partner - his attacks were clean and honest, and his throws and locks precise. There was no doubt he was happy to be incarnated in flesh, but there was never - in my experience - an aikido of ego coming from him. In other words, I never had a sense that he built himself up at another's expense.
As I age, certain character traits become more and more admirable to me - and sometimes, therefore, a man or woman is, fortuitously perfectly named - Modesto. Modest. He played modestly, but with integrity, with both ideas and with the capabilities of his own body on the mat. Truly, a lovely man.