"It's what he doesn't show you that really makes the technique," my sensei said regarding the material. I knew we were to steal some of the secrets on our own, but how subtle the changes can be is, as I said, surprising.
For example, a quarter-inch adjustment on the grip of a figure-four wrist lock can change a fairly painful control technique into one of huge pain in a hurry. A subtle move into to a sanchin stance can be the powerful anchor required for a choke that felt a bit off-balance at first.
It's all enlightening, yet, it serves to remind me of how much analysis is needed of every technique we learn. And how much more always seems to lay under the surface of the art in general.
It also makes me wonder how long it would take for me to steal the technique if my sensei weren't so liberal when it comes to sharing his knowledge. It could be months or years, rather than hours. However, he believes we should get all the information from the start, rather than fixing bad habits later on in our journey. I appreciate this approach.
That said, I know he only gradually adds his Qi Gong experience to our jui-jitsu knowledge-base, leaving us a good but mysterious trail of bread crumbs to follow. But I guess internal arts must be self-realized, after all.
I remember when I started as his student over three years ago. He said it will take a student two years to even understand how to strike properly. And sure enough, despite a basic grasp of the proper method of striking the entire time, after two years something just clicked-in and my power and efficiency dramatically increased.
No doubt it was all an evolution of very subtle and minor changes to both my application and internal energy.