Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Is the glass as half empty or half full?

I remember my first class with my Master very vividly.  There was no physical training (no kicks, throws, weapons, etc).  We kneeled on the mats and he asked me what my vision is for myself in Martial Arts.  What did I want?  What have I learned?  I already had training as an Instructor and was at a different point in my learning of Martial Arts and he wanted to know my personal goals.
This initial class was one of my most memorable and meaningful classes.  Why?  The knowledge I had gained as a student and as an Instructor was still validated by my Master but through this meeting I understood that I could learn a lot more and advance my knowledge to greater depths. 

I look at people who ask me about training or decide that they want to come in and begin learning; many come in professing how much they know and listing everything they have done which is great.  I enjoy seeing the passion behind what they have learned!  However, the willingness to listen is not there.   Remember, any journey of learning is a never-ending journey. 

“If you profess that you are a perfectionist, then are you willing to learn more?  Perfectionism implies that the knowledge provided is obsolete.  You are not able to learn more.”

I have many analogies on learning. 

Let’s take a heated argument on religion, politics, etc.  If you are so focused on your side, you are unwilling to learn/see another angle.  If you step back and listen, you might just learn something new.

Remember, Masters and Instructors have been in your shoes.  They still train and through their learning they have gained wisdom, which they are passing on to future generations.  However, these future generations must have an open mind and the patience to learn.  There is a difference between having a question on a certain topic and questioning a topic/curriculum.

The art of Martial Arts is also learned in personal study.  Think of going to school/college.  I can not advance my knowledge if I don’t study and have questions.  However, if my Professor gives me an answer and I say no that is wrong or no that doesn’t work, how would that turn out for you? 

Think of a different approach of how to ask a question when something is not understood.  Go to your Martial Arts class with a notebook, take down notes and study them, apply them, and learn.

Here is another example: Belt Testings.  I am not ready.  I have not studied.  I don’t know everything.  I won’t test.

Now relate it to school:  Would you ever tell your teacher, I can’t test or I won’t test.  You can but then you would receive an “F.”   

Then why do it in Martial Arts.  Remember Masters and Instructors are testing more than just the curriculum.  They are giving you knowledge and knowledge has many forms. 

Take this example with questioning:  You are unwell, you go to a doctor who gives you a diagnosis/treatment.  Are you going to question the doctor?  Again, you can ask questions but to question a doctor’s knowledge implies that you already know the solution so why see a doctor?

The same applies to Martial Arts.  If you are questioning a Master/Instructor then what is your purpose in “learning?”  It is implicitly conveyed that you know everything.

Learning Martial Arts can be a great form of growth.  You will develop a strong bond with your Martial Arts Family and your Master/Instructors can be a wealth of knowledge if you

  1. are open-minded
  2. are respectful
  3. have the desire to learn
  4. are patient
 We are always here to guide, teach, and empower you to see beyond your potential.  The question is are you here with a glass half empty or half full?