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Old 10-15-2004, 08:27 AM   #21
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Re: When Can an Instructor Stop Training?

True, Daren, the man you describe is a good role model for the life of constant learning.

But I don't know that he is the specific focus of the question, though maybe he helps to better define the question: we are not talking about instructors who physically can't, but instructors who physically won't. And, a part of those who "can't" are actually in that camp because they for so long were in the "won't" camp, not training. Now they think their body cannot take those rigors of training - and maybe they cannot - but that, IMO, is not the aim of the martial arts.

The physical aim of MA is not to reach that baseline of physical ability, the asymptote of feebleness. It is to grow the body's ability and to stay at the highest level of ability that we can be at. Surely that level of ability declines as we get older, but i think many instructors prematurely let that ability fall away by not training as they are able.

Even in discussing this, though, I don't want to lose sight of the *other* benefits, the non-physical benefits, that befall an instructor who sits in on another's class. The exercise of being a student has many rewards, itself.

It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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