One of my students has been converting VHS tapes of Sonny training his students to digital format, and though he's not watching everything all the way through - the transfer occurs in real time - he has been catching 10 minutes here and there of all the tapes that have gone through the machine.
Yesterday he had questions about the tapes, and was looking to fill out the context for some of the exercises and drills he'd seen in a selection he'd been digitizing.
Funny thing was, that all the different questions he had, from various random tapes, had a common thread - in this case 'The Wavecutter' concept.
What 'Wavecutter' means is unimportant here, but it got me to wondering, if he had asked about a completely different set of drills or exercises, would they too have a commonality?
Was the Wavecutter concept just the piece that MY brain saw as a way to connect the separate drills?
Are our brains wired to find patterns and links, predisposing me to find commonality between ANY list of things?
Of course there's also the possibility that Sonny was working on this concept over some months with different people, and the series of tapes watched just mirrored this fact.
But ..... if all the pieces of the puzzle are linked (and if by nothing else they are certainly linked by the concept 'sword') ... are there some concepts that form the hubs through which all, or at least a great number of the concepts, are linked?
I'd say yes, but I think the more important question is - At what level you see them?
I suspect the depth of your understanding of any system/method is directly linked to this.
The other important part, from the teaching end, is how these hubs formulate how you connect the pieces you teach. I don't think you can teach from the 'hubs' out, you have to let the student come back through them ... but can certainly use them as 'themes' or mind openers at the appropriate moment.
Sonny's material, his body of knowledge, and the method he used to disseminate it, feels to me like a tree.
Where as a beginner you start at the outermost leaf tips, jumping from twig to twig, leaf to leaf, with no real feeling of the connection between the things you practice.
As you improve you find yourself on larger and larger spurs and branches connecting all the smaller branches, and the picture of how the pieces come together starts to come into focus.
Eventually, hopefully, if the teacher has done their job right, you reach the simplicity of the trunk, the true hub.
You then look up at the sky through the leaves and wonder at the simple elegance of the stem, the core that initiates all the diverse complexity at the periphery .....
...... Which in the manner of things as they are, of course, sinks deep into the ground, spreading as far, or further than the leaf tips ever went.