Re: Senshin Center's Exchange "Arriving"
The real funny part for me is that if you had known me when you were at your first school, and you told me of even one odd "feeling" you got from that first dojo, I would have told you the exact same thing: "Don't put so much trust in their paperwork - go with your gut, trust yourself more - don't reinterpret what you are experiencing in light of the papers they are showing you." Had you heard all this then, I bet you would not have stayed the whole six months. I bet you'd have a whole different view of things now - even be a whole different person maybe (who knows).
Of course I am trying to teach folks that come into our dojo something - this is especially true when it comes to the cultivation of self-reliance (which is central to practicing true Budo). That is a big part of being an independent dojo. Even in our kids class - kids come in blaming each other for falling and/or for not getting a ball as fast as they would like, for doing a move not so "perfect," or even for getting hurt when on the mat, etc. One of the first lessons they are taught is how take responsibility for such things - for what happens to them on the mat. Why? Because they can't really learn anything until they figure that one out. Hence, we got three year olds with two weeks of practice that can trip over someone and get up and say "my fault" and keep on going short-quick with the task at hand. When they can do that, they stop being at the mercy of others. For me, this is how I understood Mary's point - which contrary to Demetrio's polite disagreement is actually proved by your story. You knew something was up - I mean, who can't figure something was up when you are told you should challenge your teacher just for raising a question on the tactical efficiency of a given move? What you lacked was not accurate information. What you lacked then was the self-reliance to act upon what you already knew (what you were already experiencing). Like Mary said it is - you knew something was up and you didn't need an expert to tell you something was up. You just needed for yourself to be able to tell yourself to act upon what you knew - or rather you needed six months to do that - or maybe you just needed to find an another expert to tell you how to think (e.g. your trust for boards like this over your first hand experience). Only you can say if you are now self-reliant and free from your past dojo or whether you are just free from your past dojo. Regardless, at our dojo, one is expected to cultivate self-reliance. Thus, training, all training, will work out from that center - the core of what we consider to be Budo - and one will be guided to do it from the first steps into the building. It, self-reliance, true independence, these things are not for everyone - Nietzsche I think had a lot to say about that. But for some, even for the person in the Exchange, it was exactly what he needed and he is ever appreciative for that first direction toward self-reliance.