Holy smokes, it's been a while since I've posted anything! My latest excuse has to do with the lack of a car. We sold one, and until we bought another I had to bum rides to work, which meant that I couldn't get to morning classes for a while. And if I don't make it to class, I guess I don't have much to think about regarding budo.
Now, we have another car finally, and I've been back to class for a couple of days. But even from those couple of days, a couple of things have popped in my head.
1) Everyone has something to teach you.
I've probably said it before, and you've probably heard it before, but never, ever, ever let your rank, whatever it is, make you think for one split second that you don't have something to learn from every person you meet.
On Wednesday, my first day back in a while, I worked with a brown belt (the only other person to show up) who had once trained under a very, very accomplished judoka. I let him do most of the talking, and picked up a lot of new, interesting info. He has a different background, and had a lot of experience working with really big, heavy weight tournament players, and he clued me in to some nice nice tips and tricks for handling that sort of thing. (Since I'm 6'2" and about 240, usually I'm the "big guy" but sometimes, I work with really heavy dudes, or I need to teach people how to deal with guys like me.)
2) It's amazing what you learn when you teach.
I've also said this before, but you learn so much by teaching others. But just today, stuff came out of my mouth that I didn't even know I knew. Of course, I just act as casual as possible, like I knew that all along. But still, I don't know if I would learn half as much as I do if I didn't try answering questions that lower ranks pose to me.
3) Never be too certain.
I've decided that I probably shouldn't say anything like, "You should do it like this." More often than not, I'm wrong. Or only partially right. Or I wasn't taking into consideration the whole picture. Stems from being the teacher, the attitude that I know what's best, now do what I tell you. Dumb.
I think from now on, I'll say something like, "Try it like this," and then just listen. It's almost like being a doctor: the more I talk, the less likely I am to be able to help a patient, but the more I let the patient talk, the more likely I'm able to help them.
Anyway, looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Hope your training is going well!
I'm a student and instructor at Windsong Dojo in Oklahoma City, OK, where we study a non-competitive style of Tomiki Aikido, as well as Kodokan Judo, and Seitei Jodo. I've been studying budo for 19 years, and I hope to study many more. Welcome!