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Old 07-21-2003, 01:40 PM   #1
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
The Man in the Basket Hat

There are numerous stories in the Chinese and Japanese tradition concerning a young martial arts student. After developing his talents, he leaves his school and goes out into the world. However he discovers it's tough to make a living and resorts to crime. With his martial arts background, he soon excels in his chosen career.

Then one day he confronts a man in a basket hat. It's a common hat in ancient times. It's a woven hat that usually covers some or all of the head. This particular traveller is wearing one that covers all of the head.

The martial artist turned thief demands the traveller's money. The traveller declines. The thief boast about his ability with a sword and how many men he has killed. The traveller still declines.

The young martial artist draws his sword and charges the traveller. But he is quickly cut down with one sure sword stroke from the man in the basket hat.

As the thief is dying by the roadside, the traveller leans over him and takes off his hat. The young martial artist finds himself looking into the old face of his teacher.

"I had heard stories about you", said the teacher, "So I came to see for myself."

While people talk about how spiritual Aikido is, what safe guards can be implement, if any, to help people make correct choices with what they learn? Even when performed badly, Aikido techniques can be powerful against an unsuspecting person. I can understand why O Sensei had people sign statements that they would not teach Aikido to criminals.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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