Saturday, April 2, 2011


Learning, knowledge and habits

Why we bow?

Sensei Nishiyama used to tell me “when you think you know, you are finished, you stop developing”.

You have to die to what you discover the moment you have discovered it, than you can flow and develop infinitely.

And he used to tell me about early senior instructors that at first were good but than got sloppy and lazy in their sparring, they took being better for granted and that make them stagnant and sloppy.

Sensei told me: “you can learn even from baby”, Aiko San told me to watch the rhythm of my kids which is unexpected because they are not habitual and patterned yet, and she told me to spar with a dog for same reasons.

At first when I wrote articles Sensei resisted and said that we are only experimenting ideas and concepts, it is always in progress, while what is written stays on paper forever.

He thought that at any moment we should be searching and learning and never hold on to what we know.

Later, he agreed that writing is important, since people should have information and direction, even if what we write is incomplete and will never be.


Sensei Nishiyama always insisted that we bow properly and with intention, it seem a little strange at first, but I really appreciated the importance of the bow later.

Bowing to your partner is like we tell each other “thank you for being my teacher”, even if a master faces a beginner, he still has to humble himself, to empty himself from what he knows, so he can learn something by facing the beginner.

So bow is helping us to have optimal state of mind for learning.

1 comment:

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