Monday, February 04, 2013
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
As much as possible, I try to avoid business trips. They have a way of messing with routines, and since I am generally a person with good habits, I like my habits undisturbed. Then of course is the jet lag, the hassles in the airport and hotel, the high-calorie in flight meals, and so on.
Suffice to say, if I didn't have to, I wouldn't.
The worst of all is missing my class.
I spend plenty of time every week thinking about Kali...hours and hours in fact. I love thinking about how to move; how to solve for various situations; how to synthesize various influences into one complete and adaptable set of responses. I love thinking about what drills to do, each student's weak areas, and how to try and get all the elements of Kali Majapahit to sink in faster. If I sound obsessive, it's because I AM. I LOVE KALI. I want my students to be the very best they can be. It's as simple as that.
I am glad that our group has grown into a group filled with great people. When I am out, Paul, Bruce, Frank, Jeremy are usually up to the challenge of leading the class through drills and practice. When I am out of the country, I always send a lesson plan to help them out, but I trust them to give guidance to the practice.
Sadly, attendance drops a lot when I am not there. While I am flattered that everyone enjoys my classes so much, as a teacher I worry that students aren't getting enough training time in. Due to economic constraints, we only get a single two-hour slot every Friday night. During that time, we usually have to cover at least three topics (this cycle they are largo mano, daga defense/disarms, and sikaran low kicks). After we get warm ups in we have usually about 30 mins each week for each topic. It's just not enough time.
To make the most of our time together, two things are critical:
1) MAKE IT TO EVERY CLASS AND BE ON TIME
There simply isn't extra time to go back and repeat material in our 12-week cycle. We can and do review before cycle testing, but by then it's too late. Unless you are gushing blood from an artery (or have a work commitment, which on a Friday night is almost as tragic) BE AT CLASS. You deserve it.
Even when I am out of town, DO NOT miss the chance to practice what you have learned. You can never review too much or too often. Our senior students may not know everything, but then again neither do I. Respect them enough to give them your attention and let them help you. TRAIN, EVEN IF I AM AWAY.
2) TRAIN OUTSIDE OF CLASS
I believe in the Kali Majapahit curriculum. Guro Fred spends countless hours working on how best to present the concepts for students, and every iteration just keeps getting better and better. That said, a single two-hour weekly session is simply not enough time for all we have to do.
PICK UP YOUR STICKS AND TRAINING KNIVES EVERY DAY FOR AT LEAST A FEW MINUTES.
This makes an enormous difference, especially in the lower belts. Do not wait to be spoon-fed by me. Take responsibility for yourselves and work on our own. Bring me questions/problems, but remember that The Journey is one you must walk alone. I can guide you, like all instructors do, but YOU and ONLY YOU can take the steps.
See you Friday. Can't wait...