Years ago a retired doctor named Richard J. Seedman began studying self defense with us here at PHAS3. After a decade of dedicated study, due to brain cancer we are called upon to say goodbye to this amazing man.
My love for Dr. Seedman is a burden.
My first conversation with Dr. Seedman was over the phone. I’ll never forget it. He asked for self defense lessons to protect himself and more importantly his wife. After some brief follow up I soon learned that he was in his 70’s. Not a likely candidate for physical combat but It was clear from the beginning that this is a man who likes to prepare. It’s my personal policy that If someone is willing to actually try I am willing to teach. I made it very clear that the likelihood that what I needed to teach him would not work against a younger and stronger opponent. He immediately asked me “Will it increase my chances to protect myself, and more importantly my wife?”
My answer, “……Yes…If trained properly it may increase your chances….a little bit.”
He immediately responded “How soon can I pay you?”
And that is how our journey began together.
Without fail he would show up early to train. Multiple times a week WITHOUT FAIL. And from the beginning I saw that this is a man who is committed to excellence and perfection…in himself and in the people he deals with. Without exception.
When I say my love for Dr. Seedman is a burden this is what I mean. A good teacher falls in love with a good student. Not that they want to. It just happens. It’s actually really exhausting. A good teacher knows that at some point they will have to say goodbye to that student. And that is always hard.
I lose fighters, GOOD students, to injury, collage, having children, boredom, life encroaching on training. I have had to say goodbye to literally hundreds of students. But after 4 months of training Dr. Seedman I came to a very real understanding. This man is never late. He never missed a session. He always works as if it may be his last session….. I realized that when I have to say goodbye to Dr. Seedman it will be because he has died. I actually made that realization 4 months into our relationship.
I have never said goodbye to a student like that before.
I am privileged to train amazing people, from middle aged soccer moms to Champion kickboxers, to NFL professional Football players. But of all of these people, the one who tried the hardest, who is the most consistent, who expects the most of himself AND his teachers, Dr. Seedman stands among the best.
At some point in his and my lives, if things have been different, I would have eagerly chosen this man as my teacher. That is the truth. But it’s funny how things work out. As it stands right now I am simply honored to have been his coach.
Here is a short video we posted of his training in 2012.