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February 12 2011 at 6:06 AM
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Chuck  (Login Inkspill)
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Response to Yellow Belt 101

our teacher structures class, is highly detailed, organized, focused, removes doubt, explains things to us in ways we can understand, is a great teacher, is well educated, my questions aren't answered with ******** smoke and mirrors like I've had from some other martial arts instructors. He doesn't just give us the answers, he has us think for ourselves, which I have found to be a rare trait in teachers. if it was common I'd have a longer awesome teachers list. ; )

anyway, he pushes us to push ourselves, he encourages us to push ourselves, teaches us the correct way of doing things, teaches us to self correct. I gain new insight in our conversations, he's funny, he's insightful, he has a great eye for detail, he has that quality I really admire in that he expects a lot from his students but also expects a lot from himself and values the time we have together.

I found my favorite teachers have been those who are fair, expect hard work, dedication, practice, correctness, etc. I always expected more of myself when the teacher did too. I had a previous art I had been in for 4 years in which my instructor did not remove my doubts, I realized something was missing.

I remembered from my limited background in shotokan and shutokan when I was younger that we stood in a horse and did a lot of basics and were told the correct way to do the basic so we could teach ourselves, and got corrected if we weren't getting it, and they made sure we were all doing it right.

I remembered the feeling of hitting and being hit from boxing, I remembered the body in motion against another active body from wrestling, a friend started showing me shoot fighting submissions and our wrestling coach would sometimes show us freestyle submissions that we weren't allowed to use in school competition haha, so I had these experiences.

from both boxing and wrestling I gained this sense of live action, full speed, the development of better condition, skill, strategy, combinations, deception/feinting, 'techniques', some principles, drilling CORRECT movement until we had automatic reactions that had a smaller margin for error and how to adjust when things didn't go our way, that 'flow' of adjustment.

if you wanted to be good, you had to practice and make your skill good for the real encounter against another person who wanted to beat you. I learned I wanted it more. I made the decision that I wanted it bad enough that I would work until I got good enough to beat anybody I wrestled. my skill didn't get super high though as I stopped after junior high, some dumb kid excuses and not understanding the value at the time and all.

I remembered these good things and that my instructor in that current art wasn't giving me all of those things, pieces were missing. I took a tour of about 15 different schools/arts in the area, taking their free lessons, free week trials, etc. searching for more.

every place I went asked me if I had done a lot of martial arts because I moved pretty good and picked up quick. some, I'd say.

my current teacher was the first to say 'yeah that's pretty good but the outward extended block should blocking your head, your arm should be parallel to the ground, because you're protecting against a weapon at this height level, forearm is vertically slightly pushed out because you don't want it to fold, you also don't want your forearm horizontal though because you lose margin for error. if I'm punching at your face, would you want this much area to block with, or this much area? well that's what we call a small margin for error and a large margin for error. this position gives us a larger margin for error while still being effective. it's like a windshield wiper on a car, would you rather have the whole windshield wiper in the rain, or just a 4 inch section of wiper?' stuff like that.

then I made my block correct, if there was something I wasn't getting he helped me see it, and I learned to fix it. sometimes if I wasn't getting it right away he'd turn my hand, life my arm, tell me to relax my shoulder, all these little things, helping me to perfect more and more, correct more, etc.

anyway, I want to continue to develop, learn, deepen, improve, break through limitations, push myself harder and farther and longer and stronger, etc.

analogy: my teacher is like a lamp illuminating the path beyond what I see, and teaching me how to be a light unto myself. he's climbed up and down the mountain, inside outside, etc, as he put it to me one day when I expressed my gratitude for teaching me, "I'm sharing the knowledge, you're teaching yourself."

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