As I’m recuperating from surgery I think about the best lesson I learned, that being how unique every day is for us.
I hadn’t been training for much longer than a year when I had to move for work. My last class Lewis Sensei began my instruction of Chinto Kata. Then I was off to another state and city and only the availability of a different art to study. That next summer I returned to Salisbury for vacation and traveled to the main dojo and associated friends dojo and somehow learned the rest of Chinto. Then back to my new home.
A time of no videos or books and only my memory to guide me. I began to realize I really had to learn something very fast. Simple performance while in short term memory isn’t enough. You had to find a way to transfer that knowledge to long term memory.
Then I returned to Scranton and regular Tang Soo Do training and then further full time training in Isshinryu when Charles Murray moved to town. Especially in Isshinryu I was having kata shoved into me, but continual repeated practice made it work. Then my instruction ended and I was on my own.
In time I began training with friends I met at local karate tournaments and was being exposed to a wide range of additional studies. I further realized it was my burden to retain what I could as I wasn’t their student.
Several years later my formal Isshinryu instruction ended and as I began to train with many friends in many arts I realized as I wasn’t there student every class was unique. The burden was that I had to remember what I learned and that perhaps I’d never see that lesson again.
So I started to make notes the day following each training session. I figured if I remembered it over night I had at least some idea of what I was shown. I have all those notes to this day.
If a new kata was being shown I worked out a method to learn it immediately. [Note: of course this knowledge was superficial but it was better than forgetting the initial learning.]
I began this practice in 1980 and it continues to this day, class by class, exploring the continual new and expanding my understanding.