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Three in Three with Two

posted Oct 19, 2011, 1:58 PM by Eric Banks

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

-William Arthur Ward


Over the past three months, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy three seminars with two great teachers.  One of my students was able to also attend all three, and another student went with us to two of the events.  I, along with both of these lucky guys, came away ready for more; both of them, incidentally, have found new jobs in new cities, but I’m glad they were able to have this experience before they left.  The first seminar of this run was in August in Atlanta with Toru Shimoji Sensei, the second was in September in Chesterfield, MO with Avi Rokah Sensei, and the third, again with Shimoji Sensei, took place in October in Chesterfield, and if I were to sum up how I felt after each one, using just one word, it would be: inspired.  


Whenever I go to training seminars, I always try to pick up not just what was is explained and demonstrated, but also that which is unspoken or maybe quietly alluded to.  We went over many things in these three clinics, several things I’ll be working to understand and assimilate over the next few month (or years), but the subtle thing that I picked up across the board, along with some more personal insights, was the need to let go.  “Letting go” has been a theme for me for a while, and I know I’ve written at least one blog on it; in terms of the seminars, letting go means giving up self, releasing those things which give birth to excessive muscle tension, mental and emotional tension.  Our goal is to flow, and we can’t flow if we’re holding on to unnecessary tension, and other useless things…  Of course, this applies to non-karate life too (yes, there is such a thing), but I’ll leave its meaning to your own interpretation.


I am very thankful that I was able to attend all three seminars and glean something new, something important, from each one.  So now, until seminar season rolls around again in the spring, I’ll go deep into the principles that were explained and demonstrated, by chewing on them, training in them and continuing to ask, “why” and “why not”.