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#260583 - 06/06/06 02:34 AM Talking too much in TMA
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
I think most of you TMA people know what I mean by traditional customs such as not questioning your teacher and waiting to learn new stuff (as opposed to asking for it). To me it makes sense, and I always just knew to follow this custom. However, some non-MA friends made me realize that a lot of these customs seem obsolete/backward in western society, being that America believes in initiative and open communication.

I usually resort to senior students for questions when I don't feel I can talk to sifu directly. However, am I being disrespectful or inappropriate if I talk to them about problems and bitterness I encounter in training? (ie, if I feel sifu was harsher on me than others, or if I feel I'm not being 'held back' compared to others at my level).

I don't mean to be a brat about that stuff, but it does get frustrating. Keeping it in would drive me nuts and eventually make me quit training. I'm hoping discussing it with someone who's been around longer will tell me if it's something I'm doing wrong, or not doing. But then again, it may make me sound like a whiner, or someone who's too egotistical?

Sorry if it's a long thread starter. But this is another one of those nasty inner problems I'm starting to face (probably along with ego and some insecurity problems that are coming along with my growing seniority in the school), and I'm really hoping you guys can help me out.

#260584 - 06/06/06 05:57 AM Re: Talking too much in TMA [Re: 18lohans]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Your point is well taken, but the way I approach that is to simply say... "there are a lot of different styles out there. Do you want to do them, or ours?" The customs and regimentation of training is particular to all different styles, and somewhat "teacher focused". Over the years, I've studied and practiced a lot of different styles of karate and jujutsu, but I stick to "my style", and that's what I teach.

I don't have any argument with what other people do... they have "their game" and we have ours. I learned a long time ago that many different styles have similar or exactly the same techniques with different names. It doesn't really matter what I call it, as long as my students perform it correctly and I'm satisfied with their results...

Showing the weaknesses of other systems is one way of training, but your student has to be well grounded in yours first.

There's more than one way to "skin a cat", but not many ways that the cat likes it...

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#260585 - 06/06/06 11:18 AM Re: Talking too much in TMA [Re: 18lohans]
IExcalibui2 Offline

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
hmm I know you what you mean..
a good way I guess to explore your problem is to kind of hold a conversation with your sifu. Talk about randomness, and encorporate some questions about movements and what not. And hopefully he'll start talking and you'll get to learn a thing or 2. But yea you dont really ASK him to teach you something. Too direct. But if the problem is serious enough, ask him why he isolates you, or why he isolates others, or etc etc. If it is a problem he wouldn't get mad and not answer you. He might think its a dumb thing to say but still your sifu is your sifu, a father figure of sorts, so of course he'll help you out. Whether or not you can understand is a different story.

And I think its fine to talk to your fellow classmates. They are your "siblings" and are there to help you out. Theres many things that I dont ask my sifu, but it doesnt mean I dont ask my elder "brother" if you will. Good bonding time between you guys anyhow.

But in the end he is the sifu and you should respect and try to understand what he is doing. Just because he doesnt teach you a new technique everytime doesnt mean he has something against you or something. A big thing that I see in Kungfu is that (in general) they dont compile techniques. Whats the use of the 205 techniques when you cant use a single one?? But there is a lot of use of just 5 techniques that you can use. So I would say, don't worry too much about it. Focus on the now, just train hard with what you have. Your sifu will see your abilities grow and tell you you're ready to move on.

#260586 - 06/07/06 12:13 AM Re: Talking too much in TMA [Re: 18lohans]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
as a rule I'd keep questions technical and pertinent in nature unless a strong need and opportunity presents itself to talk in a more personal manner.

having the feeling of being 'held back' or 'bitternes' might be impatience and jealousy. Analyize it from that angle. I've felt it before when I was younger - especially when a young teen in an adult class, when I'd see adults pass me by in rank. You have to accept different people progress at different rates - we get too hung up on competing with rank or what we are shown compared to the next guy...just concentrate on your own progress - don't compare. you'll enjoy your training more.

hope that helps.

#260587 - 06/07/06 01:00 AM Re: Talking too much in TMA [Re: Ed_Morris]
18lohans Offline

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
Thanks for the replies so far guys. As usual, it's great to see I'm not to only one that ever felt like that. You guys are right. I'm just feeling a little cheated out of impatience. Just because I'm doing a tad better than the next guy doesn't mean I automatically get the right to move up levels from them. And I guess my sifu is at a level where he can see that I'm not as good as I think I am. Maybe the criticism lately is actually him going the extra mile to push me towards the next level?

Couple questions that came up just now... do you guys usually go to someone that's just slighltly more senior than you to talk about things, or to them senior-most "brothers"?

Also, is this "don't question sifu" and "don't ask him to teach new things" a tradition thing, or is there actually some logic/training to it? (You know, something above the martial in martial arts?)

#260588 - 06/07/06 02:16 AM Re: Talking too much in TMA [Re: 18lohans]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
the 'dont question' thing seems a bit outdated and out of our social context.

but - here are some practical things that, I believe, still apply. common sense stuff that you already know:

- being a pain in the ass, tying up class.

- trivial questions.

etc...just like in acedemic school. make your questions count and ask at natural pauses in class / after class / during water break.

be aware of when others approach him for questions. every teacher is different....but each teacher should be approachable for technical questions. for the other types of questions, I'd think about it more before fumbling out something that may come out as a complaint.

#260589 - 06/07/06 05:52 AM Re: Talking too much in TMA [Re: 18lohans]
IExcalibui2 Offline

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
well outdated in terms of western society I guess...

the dont question thing is simply out of respect. Dont nag him and be like "why arent you teaching me technique x?" or question his credibility. These are done simply out of respect because he will teach you technique x when you are ready. Theres no worth for him to teach you now.

And asking your brothers for help, it could be any brother. Just because a brother is "older" than you doesnt mean that hes more wise in the MA. Hes just older because hes been there longer. But I wouldnt limit myself to ask just the "senior" never know what people have to offer. MAybe a younger mind would give you a perspective that you missed. Talk and associate with all your brothers, not just the older/more skilled ones.

What kungfu do you practice anyhow??


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