One of the hardest things about being a teacher is that often you have forgotten how you learned things. You might remember some stuff, or the order in which things were taught, but it's often hard to pin point the moments when the light bulbs went off and why they did.
At that particular moment.
There is no curriculum in Sonny's system, and though there kinda is for the Bagua I teach, there are no belts or levels to fall back on. No lists of 'Do 1 through 12 of these, 5 of those and 14 variations of this with a partner' for a pass or fail.
There are alignment principles and qualities of movement I am looking for. Integration, calmness of mind, and ability to control power. Some memorization of choreography, and an appreciation of range, angles, and timing in partner practice.
In Eskrima, there's also the ability to control and manipulate the weapon, maintain correct range, see openings, and above all else not to get hit!
Getting people to improve their proprioception and be able to do all these things takes time. I find myself thinking - 'How long did it take me this long to learn this'? But I can't remember, and perhaps in the end it is unimportant. Still I can't help but wonder if I am teaching in the best way I can for the student in front of me.
That was actually Sonny's game with himself - How to make people 'get it' as easily and quickly as possible, to get them to actually, truly 'see'.
Thing is, we all learn differently. We start from different places, with different skills, and glitches. We see movement, and move our bodies in different ways, and hear words in different ways too. So as a teacher I need to have a range of strategies to pass information and ideas to another brain, and the ability to see when the light bulbs DO go off. I think I have a fair range of these, though I do have a tendency to talk too much and overload people with too much information on occasion.
Sometimes, however, I have to accept the possibility that I am not the right person to be teaching a particular student. That because of who they are they can't hear what I am saying, that the dynamic is wrong somehow.
When this is the case, I have found it is best to have them train elsewhere for a while and see if this 'hearing impediment' improves when listening to a different voice.
What I have yet to ascertain is whether this impasse is actually a 'teaching impediment' that lies is me, or whether it is, actually, them.
Me, I can change, Them I most often cannot.