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First off all its not relevant but in the spirit of I have some good news I am an Auntie again. Chloe was born 4 am Sat Morning coming in at a healthy 9 pounds 1. She is now a little sister to 2-year-old Josh!
Excellent. Another Child to corrupt when she is a little bit older. *Insert evil giggle here*
So the points of this post then. Training with beginners. Like it or not, at some point it is inevitable that you will train with a beginner. At least that is the way my organisation works.
Now I have two feet firmly planted in the camp of actually liking it a lot. For I find they can actually teach me something. If they are the type that ask questions such as "Where does that hand go?" or "How do I get my foot there?" it really makes me look at my own techniques so I can figure out how to explain it. Some day I will actually figure out how to explain without confusing them, I do not see being an instructor in my future!
It also keeps me on my toes as I find that you have to make sure you really are doing the technique properly. I would prefer that they do ask the questions, rather than going their own way and getting it dangerously wrong. I can see the value of trying to figure it out yourself to but I guess everyone has his or her own preferences.
As a side note, is it just me, but is it the people who ask questions and really take on board the answers are the people who tend to stay with the class longer. In addition, IME, it is generally the males who are the ones to ask. Or is the numbers of Males in the class significantly outnumber the number of females because Martial arts in general are still seen as a male domain.
The other reason I like training with beginners is you have to adapt. I have found that there is always something unexpected that comes up that I have just took for granted for so long when working with more experienced members of the class. Such as how awkward it can be when a uke does not relax and co-operate. Fair enough that could be because a move is still a bit new to them and they are still trying to figure out what is going on. It can be a bit frustrating though but it is a good opportunity not only to learn how to get past that frustration and get on with it. It is also a great way to finally understand a few words of wisdom that people have been trying to get through my skull for oh, I would say since my first class.
So In all training with opportunities does not hinder ones own progress, it is good to take a step back occasionally. At least for me it is almost reassuring to think, yes, I was like them once but look at how far I have come and they are going to get to this stage to.