Be Bilingual In Other Arts
I’m not talking about the language. Expand your knowledge by exploring other
schools and Arts. Once you get rooted in one particular art I suggest stopping in at
some local schools and try them out. I have trained in Shotokan for 11 years. I have
visited and trained at many other Shotokan schools. Every school seems to have their
own flavor. The things I have learned by doing this has escalated my passion and
knowledge of my art so much. I have meet so many great people and cherish my
friendships abroad. I have also taken some Taekwondo, Escrima, Wing chun, Praying
Mantis and some various styles of Kungfu. Everything I have learned through these
other arts has done nothing but reenforce my Shotokan. If you really get down to it
they are all connected in some way.
Here is a list of some things to think about while exploring other schools/Arts.
1. Empty your cup. You can’t take in any more knowledge if your cup is full.
2. Be humble.
3. Have the mindset that you don’t know anything.
4. Give due respect when going into a new school. Remember you are the student
not the teacher.
5. There is no right or wrong. There is only different. Don’t reject or judge a technique
because it is different from what you know.
6. Don’t focus on your strengths but more on your weaknesses.
7. Take it all in. Learn all you can. If a move is a little different then what you know do
it their way.
8. Don’t impose your ideas on the school owners or students. Accept the way they do
9. Don’t brag about what you know and do. The second you do that there will be
10. Keep a notebook of all the important things you learn. It is very valuable.
11. Always take your white belt no matter what belt color you normally wear. This is
part of humility. Only wear your current rank belt if the Sensei insists.
You will find that some schools aren't very accepting of strangers just stopping in to
observe or train. Even though it offends me to see this you need to do the right thing
You might belong to a school that frowns upon going outside the dojo to learn new
stuff. In my opinion that is very upsetting. I can see their point if your new to a art and
not very knowledgeable. But if you have some experience and you have the urge to
explore I think you should.
Go and learn all you can. Meet new people and make your art better. Enjoy the
Simple, Humble and Pure