Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Another day, another challenge on my road to mastery. Last night, Sifu Ray assigned me and Julie to teach a portion of the San-Shou class. Our students have already learned half the two-person dance, either side A or side B. Julie is going to teach the Bs their A side, and I'm going to teach the As their B.

Yeah, I was surprised, too.

We'll do most of our classes as a group so the two sides can serve as partners for each other, and there will be one of us modeling each. This is a relief to me, as Julie has taught San-Shou before and I haven't, so I'm very willing to follow her lead.

Teaching the movements and the principles will not be too tough. The hard part will be dealing with BBS, or Brown Belt Syndrome. BBS describes the attitude of someone who knows a decent amount of martial arts stuff — has earned a brown belt — but is not nearly as close to black as he thinks. We were getting more than enough "helpful feedback" from our learned fellows last night.

Sure, it can be tough to see your classmate set in authority over you, if your ego is easily threatened. But part of learning martial arts is learning to set that ego aside. Mastery of self is a prerequisite for achieving mastery over others, and it's far and away the hardest thing to learn.

I hope I don't have to give that speech in class while looking certain people in the eye.

Well, we'll be fine. Julie has done this before, and Sifu will help any time I'm smart enough to ask (hard lesson #2). It'll be fun.



  • Dealing with the brown-belt syndrome really does suck. Unfortunately, the people with that tendency don't tend to lose it even after they get the black.

    I also find it funny how their suggestions are never uttered when the head Sifu is teaching. Every approach to teaching is limited, and even the head sifu has to pick one and run with it.

    By Blogger Aaron Friday, at 6:07 PM  

  • Let's discuss this when you return. Suffice to say that this week I gave them what they asked for, and the only pair that made it all the way through that section did not include any of our "advisors."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:58 PM  

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