Thursday, November 29, 2012


Sparring tonight, I found myself going "light" on lower belts, by giving them slower techniques, or those that lacked intention.  I got called out for it, but found that when I tried to get more intense, it was really easy to slip back into "light".  Rather frustrating.

At my level I'm supposed to dominate my opponent.  Ok, fine, that's a different mindset than I'm used to, but it's something to work for.  And in being such a "threat" to my opponent, I should be giving them a reason to react in a similar way, regardless of their rank compared to mine.

It's a form of teaching, albeit it an aggressive one.  I need to make them step up their game in order to defend themselves - in effect, make them "hungry" to learn (how to defend themselves as I come in with a flurry, mind you).

In making them hungry, they are forced to respond in kind and make me hungry in return to defend myself.  It's a feedback loop of sorts.  Granted, being too aggressive to someone who's of significantly less skill will make them wilt, and some people don't respond well to direct aggressiveness (but we're talking about sparring in a karate class).

Relating this to taiko, how do you convey ideas and concepts?  How does your delivery affect other people's receptiveness?  No one's going to get excited by your song if you're not excited by it!  No one's going to look forward to trying out your ideas if you're not "selling" them wel..

Do you get excited about things that excite you?  Do you try to instill that sense of fun and joy in your dealings with other people?  Being genuinely enthusiastic (without being childish or condescending) while teaching something can really draw people in to what you're trying to get across.  That's a feedback loop that should be less uncommon than it probably is.

Remember that how you give information has a direct impact on how it's taken.  If you want people to be nonchalant, teach nonchalantly.  But if you want passion, you have to be passionate!

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