The year was 1978 and the dojo doors were always open at the Hamilton Madison House. Our dojo floor was always crowded with students 50 to 60 at a time. Students would come and go regularly because the training was so brutal and unforgiving. On this one particular day, a woman walked in with her little 12- year-old daughter. She walked over to me and said, “I would like to sign up my children in your class.” They were Michael, Melvin, and a little girl name Mildred. There was something different about Mildred. Her intensity caught my attention. When I asked her mother if she realized how hard we trained.
Immediately, Mildred responded for her mother and said, “I sure do.” My eyes opened wide and my response was, “OK see you tomorrow.” She came in the very next day, just to sit and watch everyone train. So I asked her if she would like to work out with me. Her answer was “sure.” From that day forward, we maintained a relentless training schedule, focusing on enduring pain and never giving up in a match. She was able to do it all- fight, forms, you name it. Everyone inside and outside our dojo could see the same thing I saw. She was special and demanded respect from the entire community, When I began to take her to compete, she did not like it at all. She didn’t like all the attention and she would say to me, “Sensei, why cant we just train?”…..
Read the full article in the Deadly Art of Survival Magazine 1st Edition