This recent Ninja Festival was simply amazing. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes took the training to a new level as promised. If you were there you had the opportunity to make significant progress in your training. Provided you were really training.
As I watched people at Festival this year I got to see an extreme spectrum of training. Not necessarily from a skill level but from a desire to change and learn through training. You see training isn’t about getting good at what you think you know, it’s about exploring what you don’t know. To do that you need to get with a teacher.
I saw people just watching and not training at all so as not to challenge their belief in what they know. I saw others, non-staff members, keeping busy by helping out to avoid training and the necessity of opening themselves up to critique. Then there were others helping by teaching others what they think they know instead of exploring their own needs. And some who were moving the exact same way as they were last year.
Then there were the ones who came with a question and sought out the An-shu and the Shihan Kai asking how to improve. I got to train with two amazing friends who kept training with me Friday night until almost 4am Saturday morning. I watched three people test for extremely high level belts after three years of being pushed to change and they succeed. Then have one of them right after being told he had been promoted ask me a training question about something he didn’t understand.
And then there’s Mark Russo, the senior ranked student in this organization, who after we were done testing the silver belts quietly stood up and spoke with Mr. Hayes, then went out and had the silver belts attack him. He had voluntarily tested to get feedback from Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, James Norris and me. He wanted to know what he needed to work on!
If that doesn’t show you how you should approach your training I have one more for you that still humbles me every time I see it. When one of the Shihan Kai is teaching at Festival if you look over you will see An-shu Stephen and Rumiko Hayes training…
Where are you on the spectrum? Are you really training?
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