The Path Within The Path
This truth does not automatically come to all who teach. That’s why there are great teachers, good teachers and bad teachers. All students must be discerning and search for those rare teachers who both have the student’s best interests at heart and have the ability to serve those best interests.
Years ago, I had a telling conversation with a student of mine who had become a teacher. We were discussing certain moves of my system and how they effect the growth and abilities of our students. After a while, it struck me that the man’s only stated objections to my points were, “That’s not how I do it,” and “I don’t do it like that.” I wanted to say, “Teaching is not about you,” but I could see that his teaching was all about him, and there was nothing I could do to correct his bad attitude. Needless to say, he no longer teaches for me.
There are universals: Block a punch with your wrists or hands, not with your face. Well, that one is fairly obvious, but you know what I mean about universal do and don’t rules: they come from the laws of nature and are not negotiable.
But we are all different from each other in body, mind, spirit and all other aspects. One man’s solution may do little good for another man. It takes both self confidence and respect for a teacher to recognize the differences in us and not try to turn his students into himself. It takes hard work and intelligence. It takes confidence in the mutual dance that is walking the martial arts path together. It takes the selflessness of knowing that his students do not belong to him. Above all, it takes the humility to know that he is not the be all and end all for his student.
The same goes for any study, not just the martial arts.
Each one of us must understand this truth: My path is just my path within the logical parameters of The Path.