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You can't make old friends!

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  • You can't make old friends!

    According to Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton's new song..... "You can't make old friends!" That sure held true for me this past Wednesday when I attended the Black Belt Review for an old friend of mine who was being advanced to 5th Dan.

    I consider myself extremely fortunate in that I am associated with a dojo of very closely knit Black Belts that no matter where they go, what their physical health is, what the status of their training is, they still stick together. I've long ago passed the point where I can teach or actively participate in the Black Belt classes but with out fail I'm always invited to the reviews and social events. You couldn't ask for a finer group of people to know.

    Following my retirement from the Federal Government I was the Programs Director at our school for 5-years until my heart went out to lunch. My friend who now owns his own school our in Aurora , Colorado, was once a student at and the Programs Director of our school 25 years ago. As a result his Sensei is my Sensei which is the reason that he returned to Florida to take his 5th degree test.

    It was a tremendous pleasure seeing him and my wife and I were able to have him over to the house before he went back. The opportunity probably won't ever present itself again but it was very nice to be able to spend time with him.

    The group photograph is of all the Black Belts that showed up for his Rank Review. I tried to calculate how many years of martials arts experience the combined total represents but I gave up after 500.

    The photograph of the three of us very good friends is Left to Right; our old Pee Wee Instructor (retired like I am - He entered the martial arts the same year that I did and we took our Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan tests at the same time); my friend from Colorado who was promoted to 5th Dan; and myself.