To Sensei Furuya - Thank you so much for that insightful thread. You have certainly given me alot to think about. Did you test for Shodan? I respect the fact that you wear a white belt. My Instructor is Donovan Waite Sensei who also wears a white belt. He said it was in order to keep a beginners mind. But you eluded to it being a Japanesw tradition. What is the significance of wearing the white belt? I may want to evaluate this for myself. I still feel the same way about rank. Like you said, you would rather have a student (like me!) with a good attitude and not so good skills as opposed to the other way around. But sadly, as you know, that is something that is not looked for during testing and sometimes not even by the instructors who decide a student is ready to test. All part of politics. Please tell me about the white belt. Although I live in Philadelphia, I would like to come out to LA and see you and train at your dojo, with your permission. Do you have a web site? Please respond soon! Domo Arigato! (sorry for the spelling)
To Greg - It was Agatsu Dojos in South New Jersey and the instructors name was Crane. Ring a bell?