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Climbing the Mountain

A great Karate Sensei had a dojo at the foot of a mountain that was so high that its summit was always in the clouds. It could never be seen from the ground.

Four young men approached the Sensei and asked to become students.

"What do you seek?" the Sensei asked the first young man.

"I seek riches through Karate," replied the young man.

"Then climb the mountain and at the summit you will find riches beyond belief."

The young man left, climbed the mountain and was never seen again.

The second young man approached the Sensei and asked to become a student. "What do you seek?" asked the Sensei.

"I seek fame and glory through Karate," he replied.

"Then climb the mountain and at the summit you will find fame and glory beyond belief."

The young man left, climbed the mountain and was never seen again.

The third young man approached the Sensei and asked to become a student. "What do you seek?" asked the Sensei.

"I seek power through Karate," he replied.

"Then climb the mountain and at the summit you will find power beyond belief."

The young man left, climbed the mountain and was never seen again.

Finally, the fourth young man approached the Sensei. "What do you seek?" the Sensei asked him.

"Well, I would like to become skilled at Karate, like you," replied the young man.

"Then stay here and train with me," answered the Sensei.

The young man was a bit confused. "What did you find when you climbed the mountain?" he asked the Sensei, unable to contain himself.

"I never did," answered the Sensei. "That mountain has no summit. No matter how high you climb it seeking riches, fame and glory, or power, you will never reach the top. When I met my Sensei here when I was a young man, I asked to become skilled like him and he invited me to train with him."

The moral of this story is that skill in Karate comes from training. And if you are climbing a mountain seeking something, you should be very clear about that which you seek -- you may be chasing something in the clouds.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin