Re: An open letter to the martial arts community about conduct in the dojo
A few more thoughts:
Learning in any endeavor is easiest when we have a teacher. If the teacher knows a great deal more than we do about the subject in question, it's easy to get into a habit of accepting what they say; moreso, perhaps, when the subject is a physical art than an academic one, as questioning the teacher's ideas, in order to better understand them, is more intrinsic to academic study. In academics, though, as well as in crew and in martial arts, it's easy to let the love of learning and the love of the subject bleed over onto the teacher. Likewise, as a teacher I've found that it's easy to allow a student to show too much respect at times, because it can make it easier to teach. We have to guard ourselves against both impulses: to accept without questioning, and to teach without encouraging questioning. We can't let ourselves be too much defined by others, regardless of the reasons, even though it appeases our inner social primate to fit neatly into a slot labeled 'student' or 'teacher' and be accepted and welcomed as such.