Today was very interesting. We have a new student at our school who is a third degree black belt in Shotokan. The first time I saw him, I thought he was Sensei's friend and that he was here to show us something cool about whatever style he specialized in, but it turns out that he's just someone who heard about our school and who wants to train here. It's exciting! I got the pleasure of working with him on a side-kick drill today and not only is he very, very skilled, but he is also very patient and he trains with a quiet intensity that really inspires me.
To be honest, at first I was kind of intimidated by him because he is SO senior to me. It might take me a few classes to really get used to that. I shouldn't be so freaked out, but Bruce is very intense...and so am I. The problem with that is that sometimes I get so intense that I don't think as clearly as I should. It may take me some time to learn how to calm down a little bit while in his presence. Intensity builds off of itself, but it won't help me at all if I'm not able to keep a clear head.
Anyway, it's always exciting to have new classmates. Every person you work with has something to teach you, whether they're six-years-old and just beginning or whether they're a third degree black belt. I am really looking forward to learning from Bruce. He is a great example of how martial arts is a journey. Bruce is very, very advanced, but he's continuing to study. He's not stopping. He hasn't arrived. He will keep learning and improving, until who knows when.
A lot of advanced students do that. They keep learning and growing. It's not a new concept, but now it is truly impressive to me. I am inspired by Bruce. I can't wait to see how we'll learn from each other.
And I am really, really, REALLY looking forward to class next week!