Mind Your Beginners

Sensei is spending much of the summer in France and Charlie and some of the brown belts have been teaching the class in his absence.

Last night we had a big class in a small room and a we had a lot of pretty new people. I've be at it for about 3 ½ years and still think of my self as a beginner so I sometimes feel strange commenting on a partner's technique. That plus the idea that for the most part you are supposed to leave the teaching to the teacher.

Interestingly I've found that sometimes the newer students want to give the most advice. Charlie has sometimes explicitly told us as a group it is impolite for a junior student to tell a more senior student what to do, but I don't really care. I think the more you practice you develop a sense of humility since you seem to frequently discover you didn't know as much as you thought and if you go to different dojos the same technique can vary quite a bit.

When I've questioned Sidney on why a different teacher seems to have a different approach he usually says the other technique if fine but it implies a slightly different attack by uke in which case the slightly different work by nage is appropriate. The upshot is you shouldn't assume anything but be open to learning at all times.

All that makes me slow to correct anybody, but you want to help when you can. So you just have to strike a balance and maintain your own “beginner's mind” when working with a beginner.

No comments: