It’s all about punching and kicking when you enter a dojo and start learning Martial Arts. Learning how to score points has become the norm nowadays in the dojo. Even the Karatekas understand the language of ‘scoring points’ only. We explain anything in the traditional sense and all we get back is a weird stare from them. But, tell them that you can score easily this way and they learn quickly.
But, practicing only in the traditional sense can make our skill level stagnant as well. We are always taught that front kick is to be used only for attacking the opponent’s body. But, when you see Anderson Silva’s front kick to the face that lead to a knock out, we all were stunned for a moment.
So, there is this dilemma. Whether to learn the old and traditional way or improvise? There is another concern as to what type of weight training to be implemented into our training regime. Using more weights and bulking up the muscles can slow us down considerably.
Ultimately, it depends on what you grasp in from your Sensei. Learning from various sources can take a long time and at times bad for your growth if done improperly. Your Sensei is your guide in your mission. Without him, you will be wandering around in a place which can get you lost in a minute. Good teachers are difficult to find, but when you do, that is all you need for self actualization.
Another source of effective learning is your senior in your dojo. Especially the one who assist your Sensei in teaching. Them, being the most experienced next only to the teacher can help you in every way as long as they are interested to help you.
There is one disastrous way of learning for a beginner. That will be the books that claim to teach the whole art. Books can be used as references, but not for beginners. It is for the intermediates, and can be used under the guidance of your teacher.
Hence, your Sensei is not just a person who will teach you how to punch or kick, but also a philosophical, physical and mental guide. A good Sensei is the one who is not into teaching for his financial gain, but for the welfare of his students. He can truly mold his students’ life, both physically and mentally. ‘Physically’ through his knowledge in combat and muscle development and ‘Mentally’ through his profound knowledge in the art.
Having elucidated about the importance of a Sensei, I would like to conclude saying that having a good Sensei is not enough. We as Students need to do our part of giving our best as well.