Can You Ask ‘Too Many’ Questions?



‘Is it a good idea to ask questions?’

Obvious answer, YES!


I will always encourage my students to ask questions and to not just DO because they were asked to do.


The more you understand a technique and more importantly how it works, the more you are going to make that techniques work for YOU.


Occasionally though questions may be being asked that do not need to be asked.

Perhaps this is because it is something that you should experience and answer for yourself (possibly by way of a right of passage) or perhaps it is something that should be obvious and you are allowing yourself to be spoon-fed information rather than trying to discover things for yourself.


I once asked Master Ip Chun, “How do you deal with a student who is struggling to get a technique right?”

His answer?

“Walk away”

Now initially this may seem like a harsh reaction, but the mentality behind this is simple.

If you are finding it hard enough to get something right, the last thing you want is an instructor standing over you breathing down your neck!

Give them time to get the feeling and work it out for themselves.


Of course if they are doing it wrong or ask for help and guidance, give it, but at least allow them to try first.


Lots of people these days are happy to pay their fees and sit back waiting to be taught rather than taking the initiative to learn.


When a child takes its first steps it doesn’t wait to be shown does it?


There is a wonderful tale I enjoy telling to my students:

Which I just refer to as:

‘The Cigar Story’


This is regarding Professor Sigmund Freud, who was a physiologist, medical doctor, and also known as the Father of psychoanalysis.


The story goes that he was once giving a lecture in UCLA (I believe) and discussing his usual theories proving that all problems derive from your childhood and your connection between you are your parents (ish).

Along the lines that if you wet the bed then it’s probably because you were not comforted enough after being breastfed (Ok, I may be exaggerating a little there).


Anyway, through the entire lecture Professor Freud was playing with a big black cigar, something several of the students had picked up on.


At the end of their time together one of the students raised a hand and asked:

“Professor, we noticed through the afternoon that you were constantly playing with that cigar, may I ask, does THAT have any connection between you and YOUR Father, I mean does this represent some kind of phallic symbol of your manhood?”


At which point the Professor took the cigar out of the wrapper, bit the end off and lit it, at which point he answered, “Sometimes the cigar, is just a cigar”.


A teachers help is always there waiting for you, but occasionally it may be wise to see if you can work it out yourself first, then have it check or corrected, rather than just asking without real need.




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