Friday, January 28, 2011


"Simply by your presence, you can effect change."

Some years back, my teacher, Joe Manley, brought this motto to our class, and it's been on my mind lately, what with a seminar coming up and a few comments folks have made in my presence.

For many years, I avoided missing class for a simple reason: I was absolutely sure that the one class I missed would be the class that had the lesson I absolutely needed. 

We'd often repeat material over the years, and sometimes it would get frustrating.  After all, how many times can you work on the front kick?  Well... I don't know.  I'm still working on it, and working on getting it right.  So I guess the answer is "at least one more time!"  Working with Joe would break out a new piece or new element or just tweak something, and my kick would get better.  Joe would address this issue with a story from his own training...  He would go to train with Dr. Gyi, and they'd work on something... and it'd be the same thing they worked on last time.  It finally dawned on Joe that if they were still working on it, it must mean that they don't have it right yet... and he began to focus his training on getting it right -- and Dr. Gyi could finally move on!

Let's look at that motto again... "Simply by your presence, you can effect change."  Presence.  What's that mean?  Being there.  Effect.  The dictionary definition is interesting.  It can mean the result... or it can mean that you've altered the result.  Change.  Change can be the result -- or the process of becoming different.

Simply by being there, you both bring about alterations --- and you alter the outcome of the activity.

Don't fall into the trap of "I already know that" or "I don't need that lesson."