Yesterday, Aug 23rd, I attended the memorial service for Kwanmukan Karate founder Grand Master George Anderson. You can learn more about Mr. Anderson here, but I'll just say briefly that his accomplishments in the martial arts, and as a person, were astonishing.
I met Mr. Anderson last year, and was honored to have a delightful discussion of violin with him. Before his career in karate, Mr. Anderson was already an accomplished violist, and he spoke with me not as a master and low-ranking student, but as two people sharing a love of music.
Here, in a form more lyrical, are my feelings about his passing.
Mr. Anderson's picture hangs in our dojo. One day, I said to sensei, "He reminds me of a bear." Sensei said, "He is!" A few weeks later, looking at the picture again, I said to sensei, "He reminds me of a tiger." Sensei said, "He is!"
Mr. Anderson had the body of a bear, and the heart of a tiger. The body contains the heart, and while we live the heart is struggling to break free, to share all that it is with everyone. Mr. Anderson's heart was freer than most, and he shared it with thousands.
Now his body is gone, and his heart is fully unleashed. The bear is dead, but the tiger roams the earth.