It’s always exciting when I see core martial arts principles being applied on a day-by-day basis.
As it turns out, Lucas Martin, owner of the world famous K&L Bistro in Sebastopol, CA (the “K” is for Karen, his wife and partner), has applied these core martial arts principles notably twice in his life.
The first was when he was selected the U.S. squad in the 1987 FIFA U-20 World Championship in soccer (or football to the rest of the world). For playing in the game he earned his first cap—a term meaning Lucas made an appearance in the game.
[The “cap” comes from the early days of football, as I’ll call it now, when teams did not wear uniforms but caps. Players on the same team all wore identical caps to distinguish themselves from the other players, who wore different caps.]
He earned his second and third caps playing in games with the U.S. National team the following year, in a loss and then a victory over the team from Guatemala.
Lucas has said his full focus and concentration was on his sport. Much like my columns about the operatic baritone Mark Delevan or the former 49er fullback Ricky Jean Francois (currently playing with the Indianapolis Colts) and many others, having a core focus and dedication is one of the keys to success on any field of action. All martial artists will recognize this as being essential to any true dedication to training.
When Lucas and Karen opened their Bistro, it took the same discipline was required to build the Bistro into the thriving success it is today. Awarded a Michelin Star a number of years ago, the business (and Lucas and Karen) then needed to weather the recession and economic downturn. Coming out of that maelstrom, the Bistro then closed for remodeling earlier this year and is now open, reflecting Lucas and Karen’s dream for their perfect work environment, and the perfect place for their friends, neighbors and those lucky enough to discover the Bistro’s marvelous French cuisine.
Watching Lucas work in his open kitchen, I can see the same moves, the same “flow” that can occur on a mat. Especially in those moments when the Bistro is jammed and he and Karen create a beautiful choreography as they cook together.
I once asked Lucas about the dishes on the menu. He replied, “This is what we cook at home.” No wonder it has always felt like I was being welcomed in their table when eating there.
To all the martial arts foodies in the Greater Bay Area, stop by and see for yourselves.
And a reminder: In one week the 2014 FOFA World Cup Championship begins in Brazil. Be sure to catch some of these great games. There are two large TV monitors behind the bar that will show all of these matches (without sound so you can enjoy your food & conversation).