I'm back! More on where I've been over the coming days.
If you missed part one, get into it here and then enjoy part two below.
- Understanding is overrated. Our culture has put intellectual understanding on a pedestal. In many walks of life it now sits above the actual ability to do. As a reflection of this trend, teaching has gravitated towards language based instruction that imparts intellectual understanding. While this works well for some types of information and skills, sport isn't one of them. In learning to play sports better, doing rules. We could talk day and night about perfect blocking techniques but hours of waxing on, waxing off (watch the first movie if you don't get this central reference) will produce superior skill. Hours of real blocking will do so to an even greater extent.
- Teaching doesn't have to be done by a teacher. Sure, Daniel-San learns a lot from Miyagi but would you class Miyagi more as his teacher or his friend? I'm pretty sure there's a point in the trilogy where Miyagi acknowledges how much he is learning from Daniel too. The lessons we learn from those who more closely approximate friends hold so much better than those learned from traditional teachers or authority figures. Lessons learned from friends are invited, optional and relevant where as those from formal teachers can be uninvited, compulsory and irrelevant to us. It's no wonder we forget them so quickly when we have passed through formal education. If you're fascinated by the idea of learning to learn and teach better, find out about joining my friend Rich and I at a one-of-a-kind workshop on the topic by clicking here.
- Healing isn't just what we think. As I said in part one, there are a few scenes in movie one where Mr Miyagi helps his student and friend make profound physical recoveries quickly by means of a mystical-looking hands-on healing method. Let me qualify what I'm about to say by letting you know I have a degree in mathematical physics. I am not a hippy or a crystal dangler and I am pretty astute at seeing through bullshit and charlatanism. I have experienced first-hand quick returns to health from methods that looked equally as mystical. I have heard about top level athletes who had exhausted catalogues of top medical interventions to have careers saved by such methods. I now work in a way that looks a similar way myself - it is highly effective and furthermore, underneath its appearance, there is a logic and evidence. We have a very limited notion of what healing is and what can help us heal. Whilst I don't advocate having an open mind to everything, just know that there will be methods outside of your current thinking that are highly effective to help people return to health.
- Nobody expects a crane kick to the face. I was told a story recently about a futsal team who broke into a huge argument amongst themselves during a game. While their opponents stopped in shock to watch, one of them snook under the veil of their staged row and scored a goal. This 'ridiculous' stunt gave them an edge...that they used on more than one occasion. Daniel-San resorted to a highly unorthodox technique to win his final fight. The technique itself wasn't potent but its surprise value was. Can you throw the equivalent of a crane kick into your play to wrong foot your opponents from time to time?
- Let learners make their own mistakes...within limits. I took my friend's two year old daughter to the park the other day. I gave her a long leash to run around and explore her environment apart from the roads, dangerous-looking dogs and the pond. Exploration of any of these at her age could have easily been fatal. At numerous times in the trilogy, Miyagi sees Daniel doing things that aren't good for himself but never tells him not to do them. He either leaves him to find out for himself where his boundaries are or subtly asks him questions to help him find his own answers. He remains there as a supportive resource should he be needed in Daniel's opinion. How comfortable are you at the idea of you and other people making their own mistakes, within safe limits and learning from them? In my experience, a lesson that is truly mine builds a skill that is here to stay and more importantly, trust in my own abilities to decide for myself. Isn't decision making one of the key components of great sporting performance?
Watch this great trilogy. It is filled with far more treasure than I can point out here.
Best you find it for yourself anyway.
Arton "Wax on, wax off" Baleci