Of course, a student walking in tomorrow, or next week, or yesterday, has not had the chance to read that very long blog. They are a blank slate and have that wonderful state of mind that Sensei refer to as “shoshin”, or “beginner’s mind”. It’s a combination of awe, enthusiasm, and an absence of intellectual interference. That last one just gets in the way of learning karate properly. Children are particularly good at shoshin, but it gets harder for students starting later in life.
I can honestly say that I have never taught the same lesson twice. (True, the bad jokes and puns remain constant!) Each class is an opportunity to write on those blank slates, or to remind senior students to keep their open minds. Each lesson plan represents an opportunity for a unique experience, sometimes one with a good deal of impact. The ideas get engrained through the physical expression of the training. Very powerful.
So, yes, this is my first blog entry, but not really. There are some 19,000 others that were not written down, but touched someone, somewhere. And, much like the power of the web to disseminate information, those karate-ka used that message to relate to friends, spouses, students, co-workers, and even their own children. Many thousands of interactions that yielded many more thousands. You might say that the concepts we learn in karate go viral!
Students are excited for the Jiu Jitsu seminar that’s coming up at the Kensington dojo. It’s a chance to be in awe again. A chance for, even the most senior students, to feel that sense of clumsiness. It’s good to be a white belt again!