‘First, empty the cup.’ Understanding why in order to progress from a basic level of skill to a higher level of understanding and skill it is essential to get rid of the ‘I already know syndrome.’ Too many reach a level in their training where they become like over confident teenagers and believe they ‘know it all,’ when in fact their results show otherwise. It is important to recognize this state of mind setting in and stay free and open to learning in order to expand beyond the very basic level and continue improving, learning, and pushing the limits of potential. If not, it is far to easy to become complacent and hit a brick wall in development. It is not uncommon for a sifu or teacher to offer a suggestion, correction or recommendation once and then observe if a student takes the teaching or leaves it behind. If left behind, it would not be uncommon for the teacher to ‘back off’ and not waste the advice twice. If taken, it would not become uncommon for the teacher to engage the student further because he or she clearly sees the value of the lessons. As a teacher, understanding that you cannot teach a non student, as it is a waste of time for all involved is essential so that time is spent where there is a higher rate of return. In other words, even as the teacher, you cannot ‘force the kung fu’ on to someone who does not value or desire the knowledge being shared. So in order to ‘get’ the kung fu at a higher level it is up to the student to empty the cup and be coachable and take as much as available by being free, present and available to all that is being offered.
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