Interesting thread, and few chuckles thrown in for a good time, just how it should be with friends!
When I visited Ricks dojo for the second time, Rick answered those questions we both had.
WKS does not invest much time in sparring, but Rick sparred with me so we might discover what each other was about. This was not done with malicous intent, it was just two guys seeing what the other guy had. Rick was a perfect gentleman and only gave enough to keep me at bay, he didn't pound the snot out of me to prove his point. Actually it was only after 3 or 4 additional visits did I even realise that Rick had just toyed with me and had not showed me his A game. But when we were done I knew he had something to teach me and he knew I wasn't a dangerous freek who would damage his students. He then allowed me to cross arms with some of his folk.
My respect for Rick grew that night because he checked me out before accepting me. I do the same with my students to some extent if they come with some skills.
Marcus probably remembers sparring with SEMPAI and the dude trying to hurt him. It was funny because Marcus just gave the guy enough to think he was in the game.
You don't visit a dojo and destroy the teacher it's disrespectful. Even if the bonehead tells you to take off your black belt and stands you in the back with the beginners wearing jeans. No one got hurt but one guy realized he had nothing to teach the visitor and the visitor realised he had nothing to learn from this individual.
BTW he never comment on your skills to me until you were safely out of the country for six months. He felt better about his poor performance when I told him you had defeated the #2 guy in the world on a couple of occassions. Yes I know I should not have fed his ego, but he feels better .
Everyone thinks testing a dojo or a sensei is like some B rated kung fu movie , but it's just someone talking the dojo and teacher for a test drive.
I sure as hell wouldn't buy a vehicle without taking it for a spin, I don't care what the hype is in the adds, I'll try it out before I buy it. the same holds try with teachers and dojo's. Heck of a long drive to edmonton to train now and then, I'd not have made the trip if I'd kicked Ricks ass. There are other sensei's in the area my training partners have humiliated in testing. They could not fight. You can bet your last dollar if I had visted these folks and they had nothing, I'd not come back to train with them.
I figured this out early, I had nidans train with me that were absolutely useless they couldn't handle me in a prearranged bunkai when I was a green belt...yet they in theory should have been fine to teach me. Then again maybe someone is selling belts. Point is it's not like the martial arts come with a buyers guide a consumers review magazine. It's definetly a buyer beware field, and i'll check it out before buying it.
Even at 1.16/ liter and 8.5 hours driving a trip to train with Rick is worth every penny and every minute invested to do so.
Oh ya and my training partners some of whom don't get to class as often as they should....give your head a shake, your training with one of the best. Don't pass on a great oppourtunity folks you always regret it when it's gone.
Some of you don't know how good you got it! Marcus comes half way around the world to train with Rick.I invest a day to come to class . How far away are you that you can't make class?
whoops...end of personal rant!