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The Champion Buster Legend



Photo courtesy of Wendy Cooper
There are legends and stories that pass through martial arts communities. Some are true and some are lie, but most have a kernel of truth. Most of these legends have a moral, or an ideal that they are supposed to transmit. There are lots of these apocryphal stories that seem to have a life of their own. There is one of these stories that I've been thinking about today. I've heard this throughout the years from different people. I call it The Legend of the Champion Buster.
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The premise is that there is this unassuming judo instructor teaching a handful of people in some backwater locale. The instructor hasn't competed in years, if ever, and nobody in particular has really ever heard of him.
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Well, along comes the young, hot, strong, national-level competitor. The type of guy who is used to being alpha-male at his own dojo and every other dojo the rolls into. The young champion is invariably "in town visiting relatives" or something to that effect, and drops into the instructor's dojo figuring to show the local yokels what "real judo" looks like.
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After getting suited-up and taping up all his fingers and doing some vigorous warm-up exercises where everyone can see him and be impressed, he walks out to do randori with the instructor...
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...and the unknown instructor demolishes the champion - smashes him while seeming to hardly move - humiliates the young champion without ever exerting himself, all the time doing "classical judo" instead of "competition judo".
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I've definitely seen judo players that fit that young champion archetype, and I often feel like the unknown judo instructor teaching a handful of people in some backwater locale, although I am definitely NOT claiming to be a champion buster.
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I don't know what brought that story to mind, but I though I'd share it and see how many folks have heard this legend or one like it. What do y'all think of those two archetypes? Have y'all ever met the champion buster? Ever laid hands on him in randori?
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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