Trust your teacher

10th June 2009

"We make sacred pact. I promise teach Karate to you, you promise learn." ~ Mr Miyagi

Introduction

Do you trust your teacher(s)?

Sounds like a simple question doesn't it...

Come here

In the Karate Kid, Daniel does at trust his teacher at first. He's a bit confused as to why he's painting a fence rather than learning how to fight, but he does it. But gradually he gets more and more frustrated until eventually he confronts Miyagi and ask him what he's doing?

"You karate training."
"I'm *what*? I'm bein' your goddamn *slave* is what I'm bein' here man, now c'mon we made a deal here! "
"So? "
"So? So, you're supposed to teach and I'm supposed to learn! For 4 days I've been bustin' my ass, and haven't learned a goddamn thing! "
"You learn plenty. "
"I learn plenty, yeah, I learned how to sand your decks maybe. I washed your car, paint your house, paint your fence. I learn plenty! "
"Ah, not everything is as seems... "
"I'm goin' home, man! "
"Daniel-san! Daniel-san! "
"What? "

And then the really important words:

"Come here."

And Daniel discovers that he actually has learnt rather a lot of Karate after all.

Tango

Often in learning tango it seems that for every two steps forward you take one back. That the more you know the less you understand. And you wonder how you'll ever get to the point where it makes sense / you actually are good at tango?

So, do you trust you teacher?

If you do, then quit worrying. As they're inordinately fond of mentioning these days, "it's a journey". You will get where you're going eventually. Worrying won't speed up the process.

Likewise do you actually listen to them? So when they say you need to do xyz, do you then go and practice doing it? Do you admit when you don't know something or don't understand their explanation?

On the other hand if you don't trust your teacher, then you should probably ask yourself why?

Conclusion

The "teacher" doesn't have to be a person, it can be the process you use to learn tango.

"This hand wax on, this hand wax off. See?"
"Forget it. I'm not waxing anybody's car. You know what? I don't think you know anything about girls..."

After all even Miyagi's teaching didn't suit everyone.

- Christopher O' Shea, 10th June 2009

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