This minor dojo incident is embedded in my memory. Minor it may have been but the outcomes will be of immense consequence for some.
During a class, a geek who had not been training for about five years, was practicing with a retired battlefield hardened warrior of immense field and dojo experience paralleled only by a few.
This true gentleman was being kind and, as he does, modulating so that the uncoordinated, lazy, nerd could recapture the years of lost training.
I could not help hear the conversation.
In another world I would have personally trained with the arrogant geek and made sure that if he did ever deign to come back, his ego would be left at the mortuary before ever setting foot in this dojo. The true Budo tradition requires it, if you want that student to return alive from service in the field.
Better the ego killed in dojo than the asset in the field. But some people choose to remain liabilities, even to themselves. It feels more comfortable.
In this instance, it did not matter so much. The nerd serves society quite well in his field of keyboards and screen. He would never be chosen as being fit for matters of real world consequence.
So I let it go as he being in good hands.
But it again caught my attention, based on his executive knowledge of nothing but a keypad, this ignorant fellow kept insisting on doing the technique wrong. The senior was being too kind and trying to explain verbally. A fatal error. Only object lessons sustain in Budo.
Any Japanese of my era would have educatively hurt the guy and kept hurting him for the duration of the class until he either got it or left.
But our gentleman warrior friend is often too kind.
So he tried to verbally correct the nerd. Who responded arrogantly, “I DON”T THINK SO!
I was truly surprised that warrior did not drop him, HARD!