Thursday, September 6, 2012

Every Breath you take.....

  I had an (interesting?) different interaction with a new student recently. One of the school's that I teach at has weight training equipment available for it's members. There were a pair of RyuTe® students who utilize this equipment before class and then do a (minor) aerobic cool down afterward in the general workout area of the dojo.
  During their “cool-down” they do some calisthenics and stretching (types of) exercises. It was during this that I made note of some breathing tendency's that were being performed. I had heard this manner of breathing being used by various “transfer” student's before, but hadn't really paid much attention (nor given it much thought). After all, these student's were supposedly "black-belt's". 
  Having meant to bring this to the students attention (for some time), I chose this opportunity to do so, (evidently, a big mistake, LOL). I first asked where this tendency was acquired, the question was (somewhat) sidestepped and a (bizarre?) weak reasoning was provided.
  On this matter at least, I was (actually, LOL) fairly knowledgeable. I attempted to explain that the manner that they were exhaling, was not actually emptying their lungs, it was only over-oxygenating the “upper” lungs which will (fairly quickly) lead to hyperventilation, causing the person to pass-out.
  They needed to expel all of the air, in order to replenish the entire lung capacity (to achieve the greatest benefit). By using the manner that the were doing, it only emptied the upper lungs, and forced their concentration on the upper-chest, instead of at their center (hara). I told them the manner they were doing so was incorrect.
The individual I mentioned this to, was young (18,19?), and (suddenly) stated that he “had to go” (?). Upon his exit (which was only the time it took him to gather his stuff and leave), the other student that was present, informed me that “I” had (offended?) upset him (WTF??). 
  Do I feel bad, uh, NO (why should I?). Upon further inquiries (to other students, and with the school owner), I was informed that this was how the previous “Grand-master” (what-ever) had “told” the students that breathing should be done by all “karateka”. Evidently freaking anatomy and logic didn't play into the “Grand-master's” training and/or instruction.
  What this amounted to, was (another) affirmation that I will not (again) assume that anyone's prior training was complete (or even correct). This kid was told by his “Grand-master” that hissing (like a snake), was “correct” breathing. I wasn't upset with the student (it's not like it was his fault that what he was told utter nonsense).
  Evidently, this was (even more, LOL) just too much criticism for the guy to take (from me). On top of this incident, I had been critiquing the practice of sparring the previous week (evidently another of this young, strong, athletic boy's major interests).
  The other student that was present (at both incidences), had even been giving me a hard time (previously) that I hadn't been riding this kid about the details that I lecture him about doing incorrectly.
 For one thing, the guy had only been to 3 classes (with me teaching), so it's not like he would be used to my teaching style (yet). For another, I hadn't yet evaluated what this guy knew, or didn't know (overall). The fact that he was in possession of a “black-belt”, don't mean shit to me (and this is kind of why I feel that way, LOL).
  At this point (because I don't really know the kid) I don't know if he'll be back (at least to learn from me, LOL). Either way, it makes no matter to myself. If he returns, great, we'll get to cleaning up the other problems I've observed in his motion and technique execution.
  The fact that someone has training in some “other” system, does not equate to a “free-pass” on critique and correction. If you want to learn RyuTe®, fine. Just leave your “black belt” at the door, we don't even wear them.

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