My Sensei once said:
“You will find yourself meeting rivers or streams and there will always be a bridge or ways for you to cross the river. But if you find yourself standing at a river with no bridge to cross over, you would need to build one or figure a way to do so. That is where you put your mind to find the solutions to cross the river”
A hunger for knowledge is the basic foundation to problem solving. A clear and calm mind will allow one to think clearly and put things into perspective. Focusing and expanding the mind allows one to think of new ideas to common problems. For example “Building a bridge” is not the only solution to crossing the river, you can also build a boat , swim across or walk to the end of the river
Learning and mastering the basics technique are essential in Martial arts. The basic knowledge needs to be strong before proceeding to the advance techniques. Having the right foundation in techniques will allow one to master the advance techniques easily. Keep in mind that with great foundation comes great success.
Psychological studies have shown that there are three stages to learning. By following these 3 stages, the student will master the proper skills and develop a solid foundation. Knowing the three stages of learning although they seem almost simplistic is an invaluable tool for the serious student.
The first stage to learning is to listen conscientiously to the instructor, this may seems like a basic common sense yet not practice by all students. Students need to listen carefully when instructors share on the techniques and concepts to remember the vital details.
In the second stage, the students are shown how to put the technique into practice. Starting slowly, the student then practice the technique over and over until they become more familiar and confident.
In the third stage of learning, the techniques is shown with deeper clarity and taught in such a way that it becomes an ingrained automatic response. At this stage, reaction time is fast and the movements are performed almost flawlessly with little or no thought.
Eventually you will be able to reach the other side of the river with good strong foundation. It is just a matter of when and how. At the end of it all, in order to reach the “greener pastures” on the other side of the river, you would eventually need to find a way to cross the river first.