A long time ago, in another continent, I was practicing Aikido, as I would do every Sunday for three hours. That day, we were focusing in aiki-ken or sword techniques. And I remember that I wasn´t too happy with my form and how it flowed, and I was shaking my head.
Now, in eastern martial arts, and more specifically in Aikido, the sensei or teacher in charge of the class, does not teach the technique by explaining. The technique is taught by having it done to the student and then by having the student do the technique. Wash and rinse, repeat if necessary.
Another component of the eastern teaching process is that the teacher will roam through the class offering corrections if he feels they are necessary, but otherwise, will let the senior students guide the junior. Combine that with the fact that because we are wearing swords at our sides, tradition and safety require that you don´t walk on anybody´s right, and I could not see that the sensei was standing behind me.
After making a few clicking noises with my tongue a few more times, I heard my sensei´s voice from behind me:
-“You are never going to do it right”
“Oook”, I thought. “I am completely F#%€d!”
-“You are not going to to do it right today, you are not going to do it right tomorrow, you are NEVER going to do it right.”
At this point, I´m thinking to myself: ” Ok, please hold my katana, I am going to jump right under that truck”.
And then he said:
-“But, tomorrow is going to be better than today, and the day after is going to be better than the day before. The very moment that you say to yourself “I know everything there is to know about this”, you are dead and you are not going to grow anymore.”
And then he disappeared leaving his judogi and hakama in a pile in the ground while saying: “There is another Skywalker!” or at least that´s how it felt to me.
What does this have to do with Archery? EVERYTHING!
I will continue with my story and the connection with archery on my next post. Might the force be with you!