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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Useful Quote From Josh Waitskin

Here is a good quote from Josh Waitzkin author of the book The Art of Learning.


"But to answer your question—honestly, a very large percentage of Tai Chi practitioners have their heads in the clouds…and they are the ones who make the most noise, stage the silly fake demonstrations, and create a cultish mindset that a practical fighter can just walk right through. I’d write them off too. Plus the system has little groundwork and most teachers are still closed minded about that element of the martial arts. Frankly, I think this problem is rampant in many traditional martial arts—teachers are terrified of looking bad and losing students so they create a world that denies what they don’t know."

What is interesting here is Josh is an uber MMA. He cross-trained Tai Chi, Brazillian JJ and chess !

He has ideas of how they are linked. What I liked in this quote is how he shows learning can take place in a bubble. If you stay in one place you miss out external voices that may want to test and question your premises. I can identify learning in martial arts when people refer to the techniques validity, via a master, in the system.

What has this got to do with the Wing Chun Dummy. Well it can be applied as a reminder to the learning of the form in its own right - rather than applications. You may get a shock if you arn't thinking about applications. Also you look on youtube and the comments people make about diversity of use of the dummy. It shows how people think there is one right way. That is the 'closed' mind set mentioned here in the quote.

It could be BJJ and Vale Tudo develop a closed mindset too if they end up thinking, due to their corrections and criticisms, they have arrived at THE method and stop pressure testing it and examining even old ideas again.

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