Friday, July 1, 2011

the new guy...

Mind expanding.

This is how I would describe my recent visit to another dojo.

Invited to train with a friend, I showed up despite the great differences between our background and styles. It was challenging for me. At times, I found myself right at home, and at other times, I was stretching to remember the techniques. And while many things about the techniques I liked a lot, there were a few I wasn't as keen on. But nonetheless, by trying different styles, my mind and understanding are forced to expand.

A nice aspect for me was that the instructor was fine with my ingrained habits and default movements. He didn't see a need to change these, rather he suggested meshing them with what he was teaching (for example, often my finishing techniques varied from the rest of the class, or I'd grab under an arm instead of over it).

Another thing I realized was that my prerequisite for training in another dojo was as much based on the people there than the techniques taught. With the right people, one can learn something in any situation.

And while home will always be home, checking out different dojos is definitely something worthwhile.


  1. Relationships is the key to budo practice. The more solid relationships we form, the more enriched everyone's practice becomes. I try and go to train with other classes than the one I teach as much as possible. I also invite other people to come teach and train as often as I can.

  2. It was nice that the teacher didn't insist on you overriding your 'default settings'. Thinking one way is either right or wrong can be problematic. Understanding that different methods have their strengths and weaknesses shows a more enlightened mind. Good for you for going outside your comfort level. As you said, given the right people, you can learn for every experience.

    Also, nothing like differing viewpoints or methods to cause you to examine your own technique more closely. Always a good idea, from time to time.