I was visiting a friend, with a very varied background.
This morning I awoke and he was working out in his back yard.
First he was working on his rolling techniques in his back yard pool. Using the water to slow his rolls down allowing him to work on his technique. Over and over he rolled, each time working on getting the technique he was using more efficient.
I was certainly nothing had seen elsewhere, and went a ways toward explaining where some of his technique originated.
I was just in the house waking up and watching out the kitchen window.
Later I got a cup of coffee and went out to watch him.
What he was doing was also something I have never seen anyone do.
This time he was out of the pool practicing a kobudo kata. Now his studies were very different from mine, but this was something I have never seen anyone else do.
He was doing a kata for sai and kama. The left hand held a sai and the right hand held a kama. As his form progressed it became more interesting. Each hand was performing separate movements, the sai movements true to the sai, the kama movements true to the kama. They were distinctly separate but the form integrated both perfectly.
Then he observed I had come outside and he ceased the form.
It was a one shot observation.
Many knew him from his tournament competition. Which meant they had no idea what he was teaching. Something extremely different from their arts.
What I realized watching him that morning, was I had no idea of the scope of his art. No tournament, class visits, personal experience were what his art was. The reality was much greater.
I have had other experiences with friends in other arts, and the more I saw there too, the more I realized the less I really knew.
So as a rule of thumb, assumptions based on observations, books, video tapes, etc. were likely not the true reality of those artists.
A bit of un-learning we all can use productively.