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The Truth About Training Attitude
While training at a seminar in another province, I overheard an interesting conversation coming from the two individuals training beside me. "Yeah I know this guy likes to teach this move this way, but I prefer to do it this way." The fellow then showed how he "preferred" to solve the self-defense problem using his techniques, rather than what was being taught by the instructor.
Even the casual observer with not a lot of martial experience could pick up on the fact that this guy, who was modifying the instructors self-defense sequence, was not very skilled at martial arts himself.
What was more interesting, was the fact that this guy trained it the way the instructor wanted it when the instructor was close by, or watching him, but the moment the instructor turned his back, or was offering advice on the other end of the mats, this guy would go back to his own "improvements" to the technique. Why, I wonder did he change while the instructor was watching, compared to when the instructor was not?
Wouldn't it be far better to learn (out of faith if necessary) what the instructor was teaching first, and then attempting to improve upon it? One would think the answer to this question is obvious, but clearly it is not obvious for everyone. After all, this guy chose to pay for, and then attend the training. Why would you go through these motions, and then not respect what was being taught enough to at least learn the techniques?
How we train when nobody is watching, how we deport ourselves in everyday life when nobody is watching, is what truly defines our character.
When you train in the martial arts, you need to be training for yourself, not for anyone else. You're doing it to learn a valuable skill, you are doing it to increase your discipline, which will improve every aspect of your existence. The trickle-down effect into every aspect of your life can be truly amazing.
When you attempt to modify the teachings before fully understanding them yourself, you are simply cheating yourself. Be patient. Do not be "this guy." Move forward with the faith that the pieces will fall into place soon enough. Your level of understanding will increase, and with it, you competency. Increased competence leads to confidence, and that leads to self-reliance. These are all part of what being a Modern Samurai are all about.
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