This week I want to talk about one of those nice people who others make mistakes about, Mark Davis. Mark is my teacher and my friend. Mark is a nice person but having been one of his training attackers for over two decades I can safely say you don’t ever want to make the mistake and believe that Mark is weak in body, mind or spirit.
Mark’s is so humble his Facebook picture is a tree. Although to anyone who has met him that’s kind of funny because Mark is almost that big. I’m just over six foot one and hopefully just a little over two hundred and fifty pounds (damn holidays) but standing next to Mark I’m small. If you have met Mark though you know he somehow pulls in his size so not to intimidate you.
I’ve watched Mark walk through a crowd at seminars completely unnoticed both physically and for his talent. Yet both are enormous. When we go to Ninja Festival and his teacher Mr. Hayes is presenting, Mark quietly disappears into the crowd and trains making sure the spotlight stays where it should.
His understanding of not only our art but of martial arts is amazing. So much so that there are about fifteen of us that have been training with him for twenty years or more. We tried to count how many have been training for a decade or more and it came out around forty people but then we’ll say we forgot this person or that person so we don’t really know. This gives rise to the question “Why do so many people keep training with him for so long?”
The answer to that is simple, every time we go to class he has more for each of us to learn. Read that sentence again and understand that I’m not talking about a collection of information he hands out in small bits. Mark teaches each of us individually according to what we need to work on to understand out art better. That is a unique talent.
Recently he has done a number of seminars for us to take us all to the next level. The Jutaijutsu seminar at the beginning of the month opened up a whole new level of understanding for me personally I didn’t even know existed. Talking to Mark later he showed me some of his notes he had prepared for the seminar. Like always the three days of information he presented and blew all our minds with was only a small portion of what he had prepared to teach.
This post may seem like I’m trying to get brownie points. It is not, in fact when Mark sees it I’ll probably get a friendly beating for it. This is a thank you to a very nice person you don’t want to make the mistake of underestimating. Thanks Mark for everything.
The next seminar Mark is planning is Koshijutsu in New Hampshire in February (Seminar Information Here). I’ve seen a small part of what he is going to show, if you are at all interested in martial arts you don’t want to miss it.