A phrase that Chuck Clark Sensei just used grabbed my attention -- "the tools to receive the transmission". Since transmission exists between teacher and student and some very good points have been made on the attitudes of the teacher, in this ideal pedagogical model, what are the required attitudes and responsibilities of the student?
I'm genuinely interested in thoughts on this topic.
This actually, in my opinon, is (or should be) part of the beginning student's instruction. No one gets it the first time, but by the time they've been training for a year or so, it should have "jelled" into a set of tools for learning.
We not only need to learn how to perform, we need to learn how to monitor not only our performance but our intent, etc. We need to learn and understand the principles and the riai of waza. We need to know how to watch and really see what's happening when we observe our seniors and each other. We need to be able to use these tools to analyze movement, both in ourselves and in our partners. We need to develop skills and then the understanding of the connected relationship of uke and tori and to be able to predict at every level the effects that we want and the behaviors that produce those effects. It would be great if we all had what's called "hyper kinetic awareness"; but if we don't have it naturally we need to get these other tools honed to the point that we can operate like we're taking part in serious laboratory experiments in science, etc.
All of these tools should give us the ability, as my son Aaron calls it... "to bring your last lessons learned to this practice and hold ourselves accountable for actually doing what we think we want to do."
Or as Nishioka Tsuneo Sensei, Menkyo Kaiden of Shinto Muso Ryu says, "Keiko Shokon" (my poetic translation is: Think about and understand the past and then decide what you want to do now, be responsible for it and learn.) Good fortune cookie wisdom, but we all need the tools to achieve it, not just the desire.