Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Reflection on my Art

There comes a time when you must talk about many things, this blog for one.


Long ago Mario McKenna suggested I start a blog. I took his advice, as a place I could share some of my studies with my students. There is a lot of my martial studies that is not part of my classes and some day they might have an interest in them, or perhaps their students.


I realized the world could access this, I don’t believe in secrets, or rather I don’t share openly various studies, and I understand someone looking isn’t the same as someone being trained. If they can find value here, anyone is welcome to the little I have seen.


Today I would note that over 165,000 have visited my site (blogger retains the numbers automatically, not the details), from all over the world. Welcome.


I am not looking for students or followers.As I teach for free that limited my ability to travel, In turn I was fortunate to meet those I did train with.


A student to me involves very long process. Perhaps 20 or more years of study. At some point of time everyone ends the training relationship. For me the average time for Dan study is about 15 years after reaching their Dan. The process of developing a student takes about 5 years for adults, and 7 to 9 years for the young, by which time they have become adults. I have students at the 30 year mark and still have studies to keep them busy.   


I have never been good, at best average, But I have had a string of great instructors who continue to influence me. My core is Isshinryu, and always will be. Exactly as I was shown it (of course I can’t recall is there were changes over the years? Perhaps a few.)  And many other studies from very skilled friends. As all of them shared with my students, I have done my best to share some of those studies to provide my students depth of what others of skill do too. I never shared a form that I hadn’t spent at least 5 years working on myself.


My students have far exceeded my abilities, For their interests they have run marathons, studied the arts of their homelands, Cycled across  the nation, run tri-marathons in their 40s and 50s all within 15 seconds of each race, as well an no other major outside interests. A diverse group of interests.


The most important thing I learned was how to be a quick study. Beginning with Charles training me at a pace of a kata a month, to other instructors shoveling forms into me I learned how to learn. Then I learned to decide what was important to retain. Forms and principles there. I became a real study in retention and taking notes of everything.


At the same time I developed an interest in everything, which sort of complimented my own studies of arts. In time I learned a real lesson you can’t do everything no matter how much you try. So you set things aside. Having learned that there was value from the trying, value and understanding.


In the long run you learn a great deal from your student. What they can do, the principles they learn,  a new perspective on things. The best things is seeing them develop as instructors using principles they studied from you in new ways. And doing it well.


The saddest thing is how much is not discussed about the past. How many books have not been read. How little was learned. There is so much that has been saved and is never discussed. I hope some of these posts inspire more work.


While my studies have been my interest, they are not my classes which are my art. There is too much to study and too little time to accomplish what can be done in class. I only hope these studies I have suggested spawn other’s interests.





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