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Learning from a Master, Just Not the Way You Think

By cflsystemabagua

Masters of any art have so much to teach. That is the great value of being in martial arts for decades. They share their knowledge and teach us some amazing means to hone our skills.

Sometimes, they teach even without teaching.

Case in point.

I was recently a part of an absolutely outstanding martial arts seminar. In fact, it was one of the most enjoy ones I have ever participated in, in my now 34 years of training.

Two “masters” from one of the hard styles came to train. They stayed for the first section and then unannounced, left in the middle of the second one. Might as well. Their participation could be at best described as minimal.

One student walked up to me and noted what he perceived as rudeness and asked if I was upset. I thought about it for a bit, checked in with my emotional self and truthfully replied, “Absolutely not.” Truth be told, the whole energy improved when they left. After all, few things are more distracting than seeing people who do not want to be there.

A few hours later, I became most grateful for this experience. In the seminar, I learned some fantastic movements with the bo and the tanbos. Now, thanks to them, I (re-) learned the value of openness and the “deadly 4 words.”

When you are open to receiving, the Universe pours gifts into your life in an unlimited fashion. You have countless opportunities to learn things that are new, making your life so much better in the process. Best of all, you taste just how sweet freedom is, unencumbered by self-limiting beliefs and self-imposed expectations. The sky is the limit. . . at least initially. Then, you can go beyond.

Or not.

Some are closed, imprisoned by their history and chained to the “deadly 4 words” — I ALREADY KNOW THAT.¬†

When the doors are shut, nothing can come in. A person can bring you a wheelbarrow full of gold coins and they would be shunned.

Such was the case here. Newness was seen as a threat. Alternative ways were not what they were used to and thus, “wrong” no matter how much more effective they truly were.

I am most thankful for this lesson. It is one that I have bumped up many times, experienced many times and (hopefully) have finally learned. Though it is a bit sad for these 2 gentlemen, each of us is on our own path.

Contrast that with Peter Carbone Sensei. Carbone Sensei is at the master level, given his skills, history, rank etc. I have rarely seen an individual so thrilled and eager to discuss Systema. His comments were insightful, unique and ended with the “Let’s continue this discussion. I have to think more about what you did. Very, very interesting.”

Masters come in all shapes and sizes. Be sure to find one whose is is still a student too.