Tuesday, April 05, 2016

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Seeing the Invisible ...

I have long since developed a habit of looking at what instructors are doing rather than just listening to what they were saying. This is for a number of reasons but one of the main ones is that more often than not, many of my instructors spoke little or no English. So I learned to look. But that’s not the interesting thing!

Here’s what I have come to notice over three decades of martial arts LEARNING:

Virtuoso’s (the people we often try to emulate) DO NOT start out being Virtuoso’s. They start out with basic skill-sets like everyone else. 

They come up with simple – non Virtuostic (is that even a word?) descriptions for how they do their thing – before they become the Virtuoso’s that we admire. Then they evolve, the improve, they reach their Virtuoso status – and then – AND THIS IS THE PROBLEM – they continue to describe how they do their thing with their OLD AND AND PERHAPS EVEN OUTDATED DESCRIPTION. Yikes! How inconsiderate of them.

It has been my observation, that very, very few people EVOLVE their description (their: ‘HOW TO’) of what they do at the same pace as their actual technique. In fact, if I listen to their INSTRUCTION – I see that it oftens bears little resemblance to what they are ACTUALLY doing. This can be frustrating for many people. 

One of the most skills we can acquire is to get better at unravelling what the Virtuoso’s do; pry it apart to gain understanding - and help others better understand it also.

it’s so great to see others - dare I say … ordinary people achieve above-ordinary skills. I derive immense joy from having people shift from ordinary and cursory practice – to extraordinary and insightful practice.


- JBW

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