3 Day Growth

An interesting thing the other day; John Will was doing the BJJ rounds at schools in Sydney last weekend.  I promised I would keep my end of the bargain and found him good coffee; it was really good coffee. 

It happened like this.  Running short of time to get to Rick Spain’s school, I stopped at the first available parking spot outside a coffee shop in Chippendale.  It was the best coffee we had ever tasted!  Wow!  I told John the trick is to make sure the barista has a 3 day stubble – these type of guys , perhaps a little feral, have time to go and do a barista course.  We congratulated everyone in that shop by shaking their hands with John picking up a coffee bag to take home.

When I spoke to John, the next day, he said it was the worse coffee he had ever tasted and perhaps I was right about the 3 day stubble.  The truth is it's not just the coffee, there are many considerations to take into account – the barista, coffee blend, grinder, coffee maker, how it is brewed etc.

What makes a good martial arts school is not based on one thing.  Good martial arts instructors are really passionate about their martial arts and students, just as baristas are passionate about their coffee and customers.  Another thing comes to mind; one person may teach a particular technique or theme exceptionally well over others because it is the little ingredients or qualities that make that person an expert in that area.   Seminars put on by John Will and Richard Norton cannot be duplicated by others just like John could not duplicate that barista.  I just don’t know about the 3 day stubble for martial arts instructors, though.

Make no Mistake About it

Actuallyy it's ok to make mistakes – it's all part of the process of learning.  Sometimes it’s good to remind students that martial arts teachers, can get a little emotional in front of the class, but for all good reason.  It’s because they care and want the students to learn and get results, which is their form of gratification.  On the other hand, if they didn’t care, they would probably ‘turn a blind eye’ to the things you do wrong, and that’s not good teaching.

As a young student I always looked forward to see if my Instructor would notice me in the classroom.  Being corrected showed that my instructor cared.  In a way it was disappointing when I didn’t mess up because my Instructor would just move onto the next person.  In a weird sort of way I wanted to make mistakes, just so somebody can show me what to do.  

But students need to learn to be their own teachers by trying to solve the little obstacles that stand in the way of reaching their target or next level.  What better way to learn and progress by trying to sort things out yourself.  A teacher is like the driving instructor next to you in the passenger seat observing and correcting your mistakes but you are actually in control of the vehicle.  With experience you become more independent; this will happen with the help of the Teacher.  Make no mistake about it.