Expert Beginners

taeI learn quite a bit by teaching. Thursday nights for example, is a plethora of information. A menu of invaluable lessons and gifts.

One of the reasons is the unique “duet” that trains at Central FL Systema (Clermont) on Thursday. Half the group is “my die-hard” regular Systema people. The other half is Kung Fu people. (A few others are also in the mix too. ) It is the latter group that provides the unique impact typically.

Two of the members are high ranking Kung Fu instructors – Sifus. Aside from their very likable nature, they are very talents and dedicated to the world of martial arts. They are individuals who I have had the pleasure of training with for a while now. It has been a joy to say the least.

In the beginning, when I was teaching (Systema), any sign of stress, difficulty or tension, they would resort to Kung Fu; that is, Kung Fu was alway the default mode. Of course, this is the case with all of us. Under stress, we fall back on what we know best. It is human nature. In our DNA.

In the past few months, something shifted. There is a willingness to be appear to less, temporarily, so that in the long run, they can be more. Zen refers to it as Shoshin, or beginner’s mind. To watch this unfold is extremely inspiring and very, very impressive – high level teachers, willing to be beginners.

There are so many things that I am grateful for based on my Systema experiences. My teachers, schools, loyalty of students, internal growth etc. The list is virtually endless.

 “To watch this unfold is extremely inspiring and very, very impressive – high level teachers, willing to be beginners.”

This experience sits near the very top. It has had a significant impact on my life and the way I approach new ventures. The pattern that I have learned is both clear and powerful – empty the cup and slowly add value. Then, wake up the next day and do it all over again.

There are no short cuts to quality, in martial arts or anything. No hacks, backdoors or tricks. It is a matter of rolling up your sleeves, opening our minds and soaking it all in. Like a beginner.


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