Thursday, August 29, 2013

Again ....?

Luo DeXiu seminars start Friday. He comes to visit once a year and stays about a week or so. It's an intense time, tiring and fun.

I've been attending his seminars since 1997 .. or was it 1998 ...?
Anyway I asked one of my students whether they were going to attend anything this year.
... "Maybe the Push Hands"
"Ah, you came to that last year too right?"
"Oh, well, I guess I won't do that again then ....."

I have to say I was taken aback, and it actually took me a few hours to nail down why I thought it was so weird.

The best I came up with was accepting that there are people who 'collect' forms and techniques, and that perhaps some think that they have everything they need from one visit, and need not attend again ..... ?
Or ... Perhaps they see a seminar as a chance to GET stuff to take home, something akin to going shopping, or perhaps it's to get an experience, like watching a movie or riding a rollercoaster.....?

I realized that I think of seminars as something completely different - As the opportunity to play with new people, and be in the same room as a highly skilled teacher, do your thing in front of them, and get corrections. Of course there is stuff to 'take home' too, but it's the personal attention, the trouble shooting, the "is this OK?", "Do I understand this". "I can't make this work. Why"?.... that makes it valuable to me.

Of course this demands a teacher that actually gives corrections and wants you to understand ... but that's why I choose to train with the people that I do ....

So - First free piece of advice
- Do stuff in front of them, right in front of them ... most teachers cannot bear to see things done wrong so will be compelled to correct you.

Second free piece of advice
- Just because you paid money, don't just demand answers and wait to be spoon fed without putting anything into the system.

As Luo laoshi said one year -

"I spent a lifetime researching and practicing to understand as I do. Why should I just give it to you? Show me what you have and we can work from there".


Jake said...

This attitude drives me crazy.

I had a student in a PDR class a couple of weeks ago who, while we were reviewing our close-quarter form, asked "Oh, are we doing the same sequence again? I already learned that last week. Can we do a new one?"

Took every ounce of willpower not to just boot him out of class. (Or respond with "are you fucking kidding me"?)

The collector mentality wouldn't bother me so much if people didn't collect things badly.

The European Historical Combat Guild said...

Yes have encountered this in many forms and in many places. The there seminars just cover the fundamentals. there was nothing new. People turn up expecting to get a grading despite the last time they trained was the last seminar, 6 month or a year ago.

Stickgrappler said...

Hello Maija et al,

*bows deeply*

I think in all of us there are varying degrees of Collector Mentality

With that said I want to offer the other side - I don't know the arrangement you have with your student but I know for someone in my position of not having that much funds to devote to MA perhaps your student was looking for different exposure. More bang for the buck so to speak Will this Road lead to mastery? Probably would be longer

Following up on the different exposure, again not knowing your student , but for others it's possible they haven't gravitated towards Push Hands yet (or whichever area they deem a 'repeat') and perhaps wanted exposure to different parts of the style and see what appeals to them.

Your point is very valid especially with an eye towards functionality and mastery. Just offering some yin to your yang (collector mentality). People are strange at times. They haven't thought things through (perhaps like me in this post - lol at me)

Very truly yours in the MA,