Who is your teacher?

Who is your teacher?

Everyone likes to think that their teacher or Instructor was the best and the system of martial art they chose propelled them to where they are today. We can say that of course but this is only a small part of it.

Who actually taught you though? I have many people contact me from around the globe and say that they want to come and train with me. Their first question is what I will learn while being with me? My answer is I don’t know. The reason I say this is because people come with their own interpretation of what they think they should learn but in reality what they need maybe something else this coupled with all their own prejudices (Preconceived opinions that are not based on reason or actual experience) will make it a different experience to what they initially thought and expected.

We have not even started on peoples egos yet. A lot of people come to try and show me how good they are or want some kind of validation from me to say that what they have spent a long time studying was worth their while.

For me this is the wrong way of thinking, it should always be about your own self improvement and finding the best way to evolve through whatever you choose to study. In our martial arts we use principles of physiology, body mechanics and the laws of nature. Unfortunately not all martial arts is like this some just worship being strong, fast or aggressive and that is fine until you meet someone who is stronger, faster and more aggressive than you.

Let’s get back to the main point who is your teacher? Well you are, let me explain the responsibility is with you as the student to practice and practice and your instructor/teacher is a guide to help you practice.

Just because you have a good guide or teacher that does not transfer their skills to you and you can have as many photos with them and go to as many seminars with them but at the end of the day you have to put the time, effort and dedication in. There is a saying by a forward thinking martial artist called Peter Ralston which I love and repeat as often as I can and it goes. ‘‘Someone showed me and I found it myself’’

Imagine you are in an art class being taught by Leonardo di Vinci, would you expect to just turn up and you would be able to paint or draw like him, no you have to put the time in and make your own mistakes and allow yourself to be guided based on reason and actual experience.

My students teach me as much as I guide them because I know if they are doing it wrong maybe they are copying me so you have to be really honest with yourself and make sure you keep evolving, correcting yourself and being the best you can possibly be.

By GM Angelo Baldissone an eternal student of life