David Knowlton wrote:
Thank you. On the surface I am trying to learn. It may be ego as you suggest.
Hi Dave: Well, I'm trying to be somewhat ambivalent. I think you can see by our posts that although we're both very different people, Dan and I for some reason similarly bristle a little bit at some of the side-issues in these discussions that have to do with "can already do that", "my teacher is great at it", "we've discussed and practiced this stuff for years" (and yet when you meet them they've got nothing but muscle, etc.). There's a reason, at least on my part (since I don't want to speak for Dan), for the bristling..... years of experience has shown that most of the claims about "already do that" are a waste of time. If you tolerate it nicely, you wind up in most meetings trying to massage someone's ego instead of saying, "Hey.... look at what you can do... you simply can't do it".
It's just better to cut to the chase. But just cutting to the chase doesn't always work either. Let me think of an example to put into words. OK, let me switch to Taiji for a second to make it clearer, although I've seen exactly the same thing happen in Aikido a number of times, as well:
I can remember meeting up with a guy who took falls, dives, and pushes from his teacher to the point where his teacher barely had to move his hand and the guy was bouncing away. When this guy came and met with me privately, he wasn't cooperative at all and attempted to resist. I still continued to handle him fairly easily (not because I'm great but because he had no jin skills) and gradually he kept increasing his resistance, telling me that I simply couldn't handle him as easily as his teacher did. So suddenly in the middle of his strong resistance, I released a large shaking-power and it threw him down and shook him up. But he left and forever was convinced that despite handling him from very soft to very rough, no one else really had the "magic" that his own teacher did. In other words, there will always be a potential in these discussions for a certain amount of teacher-student relationship that will unconsciously be affecting the conversation. The best way to avoid it is to keep the discussion very much on the how's and why's of these things, not on the "you hurt my feelings", "ego", and "you said something that implicates my teacher and therefore I hate you" stuff.