I thought since today is Friday the 13th, I might post something from the past. Sensei posted this to the Daily Message September 2, 2004:
This happened many years ago when I was very young. There was a teacher I knew who was pushed out of his dojo and he was forced to run a very small place after all those years of teaching and sacrifice. It wasn't very fair but his students managed to push him out - he was a very gentle person so I think it was not too hard to fool him and trick him. I remember that no one would help him in the tiny dojo where he taught so I used to go every Saturday and assist him with his class. I think I was the only one he could turn to for help in those days. It was a terrible place - actually, it wasn't so bad but it was in a very bad neighborhood. Local kids used to break in at night and trash the place. There was a kitchen next to the large community room where we held classes. Every week, someone would break in and take the food from the refrigerator and throw all over the walls and floors. The Aikido classes were on Saturdays from noon, and for some reason, these kids would break in on every Friday evening when there was not much going on in this community center. I never wanted him to see this, so I always went to the dojo about three hours early to make sure that the dojo was clean and in order before he arrived to teach. Sometimes, I remember cleaning broken eggs off the walls, wiping up ketchup and milk off the floor, picking up broken dishes and glass - it was so bad. . . . and only for a few students who would come to learn from him. Later, he was invited to teach in another dojo way across the country. It was a long 5 hour trip by airplane but he decided to go anyways once a month despite his age. The long trip once a month was too much for him and everyone could see how tired he became. Eventually, he became very exhausted - somehow this turned into cancer and he died long before he should of. I remember how I cried at his funeral - I was very young then and just couldn't understand how such a thing could happen. Maybe if I was older with more experience, I would have told him not to go and just relax and take it easy even though he was in such a tiny dojo. I would do everything to make it easy for him. He is gone and I never hear his name spoken any more. I don't mention his name but old timers will know who I am talking about. In his own way, I think he was a great teacher who sacrificed his life for Aikido - I wish he didn't go that far. . . . I wish he could have taken it easy and be around to teach many years longer. . . . .
This story is apropo as to how I feel about Sensei.