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Thursday, April 24th, 2014 10:23 am

Dammit, my students should NOT be allowed to do things like this to me.

I have a senior student and backup instructor named R. He's about 6' 4" and he's well over 200 lbs of muscle (was DISAPPOINTED by the strongest settings BowFlex has), keeps his head shaved, has a few scars here and there... you get the picture. Looking at him, it's not hard to picture him as some sort of fanatical gang/cult member you'd see on the news after the Feds have raided their compound.

He's definitely a case of "don't judge a book by its cover" -- he's a big teddy bear.

For the past few months I've been working with R after class, trying to help him get some of his knowledge levels a bit higher and to get him both more skilled and more comfortable at taking his considerable physical skills and expressing them in ways that they can be taught to other people. Things like instead of saying to a student, "Do [this motion]" being able to help them understand what all the pieces of that motion are so that they can do it correctly, to understand what they're doing and why, etc.

The vessel I chose for working with him was to have him take every one of the forms we do and go through each movement and explain it to me. What is the movement, and what is at least one practical way in which it can be used.

Last night, we reached the end of the last form.

After he finished, we were talking about how he'd done, about what areas I think he still needs to work on, what I want to see him focusing on next, etc.

And then I asked him if he had any questions for me... and this hairless gorilla chokes up, looks at me with tears in his eyes, and pauses long enough to say, "Thank you, Sensei" before giving me a huge bear hug.

Dammit, R. It's one thing to try to choke Sensei in class, but stop making him get choked up! ;-)


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