Log In / Out

I first met Mark in 1995, shortly after moving to Chicago. My original Budo instructor was no longer accessible and soon left the Bujinkan completely. Mark graciously invited me to his place to train. It was also the first time in many that Mark gave the most abstract directions possible, which ensured I bumbled around Racine and Pleasant Prairie, until I reached his house.

I’ve since realized that Mark’s ambiguous directions are metaphorical for training and life. There are many paths to a destination; there are many options in learning Budo; one gains experience by taking a longer and more challenging route. Even in his passing, Mark is still teaching me, as he is all of us.

Mark seldom spoke of rank. Rather he emphasized life rank and Taijutsu rank. Nonetheless, he readily volunteered to write letters of recommendation when needed or asked. Without exception these opened doors beyond my reach, demonstrating how many lives he touched, how many individuals were ready to agree to his recommendation because of Mark’s character.

Now Mark belongs to the ages. Like all of us I will miss my friend and teacher. However, I’m sure his lessons will continue to guide me and resonate in me as I gain comprehension with age.

Thank you, Mark-San.

I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.