No, J.D., we are not fermenting the next fine wine.
A week or two ago, a fellow who I like - Alan Rench of Great Britain - put a brief post on the kyusho forum. It was titled "the real thing??" or something like that, and referred to Mr. Morris' website. Alan had worked with Steve for a little while, and enjoyed his time with him. He did leave an unsettling comment (without further explanation) about having to cease training with him, but spoke highly of him. In introducing people to the website, Alan made two comments (which I will paraphrase). The first was about it being difficult to get through. Agreed. The second was a comment about how some people might think he had "sour grapes".
I get a lot of good thinking done while mowing my grass. I began to ponder why a few people that I know pretty well have found aspects of the page (or Mr. Morris) having something that they can identify with. Then it occurred to me - the very comment that Alan had made about sour grapes. All these people had at one time or another been faced with political idiocy a layer or two above them. All had faced the prospect of being treated arbitrarily within the political heirarchy.
I can remember 23 years ago being indirectly affected in a negative way by a New England test board. A person that I worked very closely with and was partially responsible at the time for having any Uechi ryu in the state of Virginia was badly treated at a dan test. It probably wasn't a big thing to the testing board up there at the time (one of those board members is still an insufferable jerk), but it was a big thing for this poor person working out in isolation. "The board" really didn't give a damn. Back then they didn't think much beyond their own circle.
I wrote a very long and nasty letter. It was addressed to George Mattson. I was ready to say f***-it to Uechi ryu. It wasn't my first style anyhow. I read it to my friend. He liked it. I read it to my now-geographically-removed instructor Rad Smith. While Rad was just as incensed as I....he told me not to send the letter. Rad remained angry for years, but finally settled down. And oddly enough, I got over it quickly and was the first of the three of us to work directly with those that had slighted my friend. Rad commented on the irony of it. If I had sent that letter....my life would have been very different.
Oh, by the way. May you rest in peace, my dear friend Rad.
But in others I see the actions of idiots and how they permanently scar someone's view of what they do. Some ****** it up and move on, but never, ever forget. Some, because of a combination of factors, repeatedly come up upon these "situations", and the animosity festers. And when you are good, it is all the more galling.
I'm not sure if I've gone anywhere with this note. Maybe it's just an attempt for me to understand a little more. Maybe seeing others' frustrating past rear their ugly heads makes me remember myself how scarring those events can be.
And where does an individual go with all this? Well...in about as many different directions as there are personalities on this earth.
[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 04-25-99).]