As noted here and there, I trained for many years with Hanshi Richard Lenchus. He gave me flying lessons (so to speak), my first blackbelt, and a second set of balls (the brass ones). The blackbelt prompted a letter of congrats from celebrated Sensei Chuck Norris, an old sparring partner of my sensei's... As a boy, no one ever frightened me like Rick Lenchus. And after that, nothing could.
Pictured: Aaron Banks, Rick Lenchus and Chuck Norris