Here is one of my favorite events i have discussed with my Father and instructor Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi. "dad, what made you decide to take Karate?" .....
Here is a excerpt from Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi's "The Journey's and travels of Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi" which was always his answer to me at age 5 and till this day..
"I first heard about this Japanese champion from my kid brother. I wasn't impressed by Hirokazu Kanazawa at first and neither were the other boys who came down to watch. They left immediately, but I continued to stay because I was curious to find out what made this guy a champ. He didn't look tough and I thought he could be beaten by the kenpo boys. I thought that I was going to see a tough looking sensei beating up on all the students. I was surprised to see a kind speaking , ordinary man teaching a beginner's class. There was something very, very gentle about him, humble. The training looked very easy because after all, it was a beginner's class.
He introduced himself to me because I kept staring at him. He asked me if I had met him before and I told him this was the first time I had seen him. I kept watching him and ten minutes later he asked me again if we had met before. I told him no again, and then left after the class ended. I was puzzled by his humbleness so I came back to watch him teach every night for the next two weeks. Watching him was boring, he covered the basics over and over again. But he was real gentle with the students,kids, old people, husbands and wives, all white belts. He taught them real,real easy. One-two(like the way we teach) one-two(real slow), okay ,yame. I thought he was going to grind them next to the ground, 1000 push-ups, 1000 punches, all that stuff. But no, it was very easy training. So I was trying to figure it out - is this Karate? The rough stuff it's supposed to be?
He taught his students how to use their hips, how to stand and how to execute with timing. But what impressed me most was his humbleness. In the meantime, I visited other dojos of my Kenpo friends. I was already a shodan in both Judo and Kenpo and I knew it would mean starting at the beginning as a white belt but finally, I was curious enough about Kanazawa Sensei's style of teaching that I signed up for his beginner's class. It was a move I would never regret...."
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of these great Karate ,Martial Arts and life stories i have discussed over the last 50 years while training, driving,eating dinner and just talking story. Hope to share more with the Karate world in the future.