If you spend too much time thinking about a thing…you’ll never get it done! ~ Bruce Lee
In practicality, how can we grow towards self actualization without over thinking? Without just practicing moves until automaticity?
Another great quote many people have said though out time is, “Don’t think, feel.” ~ Origin unknown. If our way towards self actualization is a unique path, then how much planning and thought should we employ from our master’s teaching vs. keeping an empty cup?
I believe that one must free/or loosen their mind, but not in the beginning, When a student is first learning something too much freedom is a recipe for sloppy errors and mistakes that are taken late into training.
When a student is still a child in their discipline, (a kyu) the instructor and the student both must stick to a rigid structured method. It allows you to learn what makes a strong foundation of movements. Once you understand what makes a strong foundation you can open your mind to a huge amount of possibilities.
It's the same with any art or trade. Successful abstract art can't be created unless the artist has an understanding of composition, colour theory, gesture, and realism.
As a young kuy a student should be striving to do the movements exactly as their instructor. Questions about movements, kata, and partner work should never be "Can it change and I do it more like this?" It should be "How do I change to do it more like my teacher."
You absolutely should practice moves until automaticity, but not just that, you should practice them as instructed. Watch and copy, then do it over and over until you are a carbon copy of your sensei.
In the beginning you give up your freedom of mind to your teacher so you can learn. It's letting go of your ego; that little voice that says, "I think I know a better way". Once you grow and begin to reach the heights of your instructor is when you open your mind and branch out.
MY ANSWER AN HOUR AFTER TEACHING CLASS.
I to contradict myself but, I actually have a pretty big problem with cross training. (Yes I know different topic) I tried to explain it nicely in my first post but let me be clear… It is very rare that a person will excel if they take multiple styles before establishing solid knowledge of one. Green belt, brown and first dan are NOT solid knowledge of a style (at least not in my class). Just as it's easy to overwhelm yourself with too many styles, you can (and do) overwhelm yourself with....yourself.
In some ways my lower ranks (anyone below brown) are at a disadvantage because you train alongside the ranked belts. Lower ranking belts should be concentrating on meditation through physical perfection, not concentrating on the whimsical spiritual side, which is important but ADVANCED!!! Too advanced.
Too much, too soon, is TOO MUCH. Attempting to over think things takes away from the meditation of physical discipline. If you are lower ranking than a 4kyu, you don’t have a full cup to empty!!! Concentrate only on the perfection of your physical movement then the spiritual will come inherently. Concentrate on empting your mind and that metaphorical cup will tip over without much effort.
Unless I have specifically said to you as my student “I believe that it’s time for YOU to begin thinking of your karate on a deeper level”, the only thing you need to concern yourself with is perfection of your physical meditation. If you are high ranked you should be continuing physical perfection while BEGINNING to challenge yourself on a deeper emotional level. But if you have major flaws in your physical style, then you need to set your ego aside and take a step back to concentrate on re-perfecting your mistakes.
Everyone always wants “more”,”bigger”,”faster”. You want to let go of your ego… “Empty your cup”? Then break it down and make it small; perfect your punch, your block or your kick before becoming bored and wanting something new. Quality over quantity! Slow it down, pay attention to what you’re physically doing, EVERYSINGLE TIME YOU MAKE A MOVEMENT. I’m talking about your mind; slow down your mind and focus on the lesson of the moment. Physical slowing is easy, stop the chatter, the self criticism, the concern with the guy next to you; whether or not YOU believe the bunkai taught is viable.
This is a topic that is actually too deep for me to write out in a couple of paragraphs, (while I should be working.) There is a reason that I tell you “know that there is many bunkai for one movement,” but I only give you one to begin with. Low rank is at a disadvantage because they see me teaching my Yudansha and greedily want to store that information for themselves, before you are capable of fully understanding it. You understand the concept, NOT the bunkai.
Remember what I always say in class, if I haven’t specifically addressed someone then assume I’m talking directly to you, because I promise…On some level, and at some point, I’m referring to all of you.
Many commented on the subjects that made you feel smart and deep, but few commented on the subjects pertaining to perfecting your physical karate. Physical perfection of movement is the first stone in the river. Internalized karate is the second! But you have no hope of reaching the second stone until you are securely on the first one.
If you want me to clarify and feel that I am contradicting myself or being too harsh, come talk with me. There is something to be said for freeing the mind, learning new styles and expanding your universe, but too soon and all you get is mediocrity, or worse.
what do you ladies think?