I thought you might like to take a look at one of the stories from Book 3 of The Cougarsamurai Chronicles.

The Test
Cougarsamurai sat cross-legged in the large dojo (training hall). Today was the day he would put his three most worthy students to the test. Above the doorway to the training hall he had placed a large bag of sand in such a way that as the door opened the bag would fall onto the head of whoever entered. He would summon his three students one at a time.

Kanji, friend of Hisoka, was the first to be called. After a few minutes Cougarsamurai heard a knock at the doorway and called for Kanji to enter. Kanji opened the door and stepped forward just as the bag of sand fell towards his head. At the last instant, sensing the bag, Kanji stepped to the side and the bag fell harmlessly to the ground with a thud. 

Cougarsamurai instructed his student to replace the bag and come to sit next to him. Kanji carefully placed the bag back above the doorway and moved to sit next to his master. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door. It was the second trainee to be called for.

The Samurai was particularly interested to see how this trainee would deal with the scenario. It had been a while since their encounter during a one-on-one archery contest (see the Cougarsamurai Chronicles book 2), and he was interested to see exactly how much progress had been made.

Denjiro opened the door and stepped forward. The bag of sand came crashing down toward his head. Calmly and swiftly he stepped aside, drew his sword and split the bag straight down the middle, so that it landed in two halves at his feet. Kanji could not contain himself and started to clap vigorously. Cougarsamurai said nothing except to instruct Denjiro to place a new bag of sand above the door and then come and sit next to him, to wait for the final student.

This was the one Cougarsamurai was especially interested in. Hisoka had been a challenge for a long time; rarely did he learn the lesson until it was repeated. Nonetheless he had high hopes for him and sat up expectantly when he heard a knock at the door. He called for the Hisoka to enter.

Hisoka opened the door and was about to step forward when he sensed something was wrong. Instead of stepping forward he merely stood still and observed. Sure enough a bag of sand fell to the floor in front of his eyes. It was only then that he stepped forward toward his teacher. Cougarsamurai and the other two students grinned broadly at Hisoka.

His teacher asked him why he had not entered. Hisoka said that one lesson he had learned was to look before you leap. Or in this case before you enter the dojo, with your teacher and two friends looking mischievously on.  All four burst out laughing. Cougarsamurai said that he was pleased with his students’ performances. No one had failed the test.

If you enjoyed this more can be found at: The Cougarsamurai Chronicles