In view of what continues to be posted on rec-ma about Tony-san , I thought it appropriate to interject my impressions of my recent exposure of a week's duration to Tony's character in conjunction with his shodan test ! We had some real long talks !
At the outset , in his test , he came across as an individual of exceptional ability and energy !
Yes , there is a checkered past of dark undertones , he freely admits that , but he talks about becoming a totally new person once feeling accepted as a worthy human being in the womb of Basset sensei's dojo , one of the finest I had the pleasure to visit !
I found him honest in his ways , extremely intelligent and combining tact with complete candor ! Though he appears to be considerate of the feelings of others , one who asks for his frank opinion receives exactly that !
Because he possesses both the courage of his convictions and a broad minded attitude towards those whose opinion differ from his , he has earned my respect !
Spending time with him I quickly realized that underneath a somewhat raw exterior , lies a fine, friendly personality of high moral standards and sound sense of values ! A gentleman in every sense of the word once you really get to know him !
He is a delightful conversationalist , extremely helpful with an abundance of altruistic enthusiasm. He has a gracious , friendly manner that makes one feel completely at ease in his presence ! Besides, he makes the best coffee and cappuccino this side of the Mediterranean !
He lives in a beautiful, large, well kept home with a fine family and a cute dog [Toby] !
His outstanding physical performance at the test , combined with an evolving maturity of personality , will prove worthy of the confidence the test board placed in elevating him to Shodan rank !
Godspeed my friend , and the very best for you and family for all the years to come !