I’m a student…of a student

“Follow not in the footsteps of the masters, but rather seek what they sought.”

~ Unknown

I’m a student of a student.

I’m a karate student who takes lessons from another karate student. That doesn’t mean I’m getting inferior instruction – on the contrary. My instructor holds advanced black belts in Okinawan Kenpo Karate, Taiko Ryu Aiki-Jujitsu, and Okinawan Kobudo (Weapons) and has earned the title of Renshi. With all his advanced belts he could just coast, but he doesn’t.

He hasn’t learned it all, nor will he ever – and he knows it. Karate always has something to teach, something to discover, whether it be techniques or understanding, and it’s that next “something” that he seeks.

Through classes, seminars, books, videos, and discussions with other martial artists, he is learning. He’s out on the mat with everyone else trying what is being taught. He’s open to new ideas, new ways to make something work better, ways to improve his existing skills and learn new ones.

It is this quest for learning that ultimately makes me a better student. I am led by example. I am encouraged to search, to try new things, to gain a deeper understanding of the art I’ve chosen to practice.  

I read books and blogs, and attend seminars whenever I can. I am privileged to have learned from Troy Price, Iain Abernethy, Dan Kennedy, Roger Greene, and several other high-ranking practitioners in my own organization.

I’ve been exposed to seminar instructors whom I had previously been unaware of. I walked away from those seminars with new things to consider, a greater understanding of my art, and the excitement to continue learning.  

I’m fortunate to study with an instructor who encourages exploration. He’s open to new ideas, and wants us to be as well. I’m a student…of a student. And that’s the best kind of student to be.

One Response to “I’m a student…of a student”
  1. Renshi says:

    I have had the privilege to learn from some of the very best students. Yes, students. I’ve learned from Instructors who still get on the mat to learn just as much as they do to teach. I have been encouraged to attend seminars by instructors outside my school/organization and for that I am thankful that my instructor(s) have not sheltered me, yet have shown me the path.

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