An unconfirmed rumor

by Meik Skoss

Folks,

I've just heard an unconfirmed rumor that some people, maybe including a number of people who post on this list, are planning on holding some sort of demonstration at the graveside of Donn F. Draeger as a sort of "tribute" to his memory. I really hope that's not so.

I knew and trained with the man during the last decade of his life, and took part in some of his research trips to Malaysia and Indonesia, also studying the discipline of hoplology under his direction, as well as editing the Hoplos Newsletter for several years in the late '70s and early '80s. During all that time, one of the most consistent facets of Draeger's personality was a self-effacement and an almost fanatic insistence upon the importance of the ryu above the individual. It was not about the person, it was all about the school.

Certainly, he attained a high degree of skill in several martial arts and was widely respected by teachers of many schools. But he did not want to stand out in the crowd and took great pains to direct attention to the teachers and headmasters with whom he studied. Such blatant personal aggrandizement would've been anathema to him.

I only hope, if this rumor is true, that the people involved will reconsider and NOT do such a thing. Out of respect for the man and what he stood for.

Copyright ©2004 Meik Skoss. All rights reserved.


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Classical Japanese Martial Arts