As the saying goes, the reward for a job well done is more work! The Northwind red belts have demonstrated their ability to handle new material. I was very pleased by the effort everyone put into their new challenges! Everyone volunteered to start early and stayed late to get the job done! I’m very grateful to see such hard work from the students. I know it spurs me on to work harder to be the martial artist and master they asked me to be!
As I continue to learn while teaching, the last two weeks have shown a lot of light on Chief Master Parnell’s comments about Gibon Doncha, the basic drills. We learn them all as white belts, and go through them at every regular class.
Another, better, word for basics is fundamentals, the basic drills are the building blocks to teach us what we need to study the art. They’re far more than that. Nothing is more immediately revealing about an artist’s focus, heart, and ability than how they perform in the basics. Gibon Doncha is supposed to leave everyone tired. It’s immediately apparent from the front who is putting in the effort and who is going through the motions. It shows up in tip flick, cut lines, deep stances and crisp cuts. I can see who is “muscling through” cuts that they haven’t mastered, because when they run out of energy to overcompensate or hyper-focus, they’re going to start throwing out the technique that’s truly ingrained into their bodies.
Today it was very rewarding to see how much mudo everyone brought to their training! I watched students fight to improve their stances, fight to improve their hand positions, and give Gibon Doncha 100%. When you’re sweating enough to cause yourself traction issues, you’re giving it all you’ve got!
So that was my highlight from this week’s class: Gibon Doncha, with all the heart and focus everyone could bring.