Repeat, Repeat, Repeat (Then Check)

 

Drill, drill, drill

 

So many times I have mentioned the fact that:

‘Practice does not make perfect, it is only Perfect practice that makes perfect’

 

And with this in mind I bring your attention to our Forms and the practice of, or should I say, the Perfect practice of.

 

It’s certainly the best thing to drill during a lockdown, but Why do we drill these Forms so much?

 

The answer is simply so that we develop an understanding of body mechanics and muscle memory, so that if we ever need to use these techniques (or reactions), we quickly get to where we want to be and we do not overcommit when doing so.

 

One of my students, Sifu James Paylor (while teaching one of our livestream classes last week) referred to a wonderful phrase use in the Leeds College of Music:

‘You do not practice until you get it right, you practice until you cannot get it wrong’

 

In my opinion Forms need to be perfect, applications however can (and should) be open to interpretation, and when you do come up with something new or interesting, show it to your teacher, share this experience so that we all learn together.

Get your teachers perspective on your ideas and question anything you are unsure of:

Providing of course you are able to do so?

 

It is expected that you should respect your teacher, and why not?

They are about to share so much with you through their knowledge, care, time, support, friendship and guidance.

Plus, if a student does not respect me then why on earth would I respect them?

 

Ok so the rent still needs paying, but not to the degree that you put up with rude behavior or a problem student ruining it for all the rest as the proverbial Bad apple.

 

Now when I refer to a problem student I am not talking about those who find it difficult to pick things up, or those who are not grade A students from day one, gifted with a naturally flow and aptitude, no, getting rid of these students would be the problem of the teacher NOT the student.

 

I’ve always been a little miffed by schools such as RADA, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and the like, ‘Schools of excellence’ as they would refer to themselves as.

Well of course they are!

Because you’ve got to be a bloody genius to get in the damn place!

 

A school of worth to me is a place where they take someone who is as thick as a church door and then turn THEM into a genius.

 

And this is done by not only allowing them to ask questions, but also to encourage it, because the more you understand HOW something works, the more you’re going to make it work for you.

 

So respect your teacher but not so much that you dare not ever ask questions.

Oh, and there is a world of difference between:

‘Asking questions to your teacher and questioning your teacher.’

 

The man I have the most respect for in the world

My Sifu and my friend, Master Ip Chun

 

Do be respectful and be courteous but at the same time remember this is a journey you are taking together, so let’s make it an enjoyable one, and you will find it a rewarding one too.

 

The Japanese have a saying:

“Respect your Elders, but have compassion for your Youngers”

 

Basically this means that this works both ways, respect should be earned and not forced, as forced respect is false respect.

 

Shouting at students, demanding the just do what they are told and never to question the teacher, to me, gives off warning signs that maybe the teacher is worried that one day they may have to teach.

 

Curiosity is a wonderful thing and should be nurtured, remember you are training your mind as well as your body, so do not deny it’s development through fear of asking a silly question.

 

To me, no question is silly if you truly wish to know its answer.

 

Confucius said:

 

“The man who asks the question may be a fool for a minute,

the man who does not ask the question is a fool for a lifetime.”

 

 

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