Showing posts from November, 2012

Keeping it real

In a recent article , I discussed the very necessary role trust plays in the teacher/student relationship – and how an attempt to "test" your teacher would necessarily be contrary to the terms of that relationship. I've had a number of responses that article, both public and private, querying my analysis. To quote one correspondent (who left a comment on the article): "I think this is one of the edges that something like BJJ has over things like karate in terms of the prevalence of good practitioners - and one of the reasons why we have so much bad karate. Some newbie goes into a BJJ class, he'll lose - and if he doesn't, then the people there don't know what they're doing. It's a cut and dry test. If he's interested, he can fairly easily find strong people to train with. Some newbie goes into a karate class, where's their standard of proof? You or I could take a movement away and, comparing it to feelings that we've honed over

A Facebook page for the Way of Least Resistance!

Okay, I've finally gotten off my rear end and made a Facebook page for this blog . I hope to post my latest blog posts there as they happen, as well as additional comments, videos, footnotes, how-tos and other extras. Please "like"! Copyright © 2012 Dejan Djurdjevic

A matter of trust: "testing" your sensei

My last article got me thinking about the whole issue of trust. I see our "illusion of security" as just part and parcel of a greater tendency of human beings to "suspend distrust" in order to function effectively and happily in a society. The student/teacher relationship is a good example of that suspension. Why do I say this? Because if we accept someone as our teacher, we accept a level of expertise on their behalf. And, as you will recall from my article on mentalism , critical thinking shuts off once an accepted expert begins to speak. Note again the following TED video, particularly at around 3:37 (set to start at that point): But isn't that a bad thing? After all, aren't we urged from all quarters to "question everything"? Why shouldn't this extend to our teachers? I was talking about this with my eldest daughter on Sunday as we took our puppy for a run at the park. As I noted, it would be exhausting and extremely ineff

A world of illusion: coping with the reality of violence

We martial artists spend a lot of time thinking about violence and practising ways of countering it. But underlying our practice is the knowledge, deep inside us all, that we are to some extent living in a world of illusion. We are under an illusion as to our realistic chances of reacting appropriately (if at all) under the pressure of an attack. And, even if we do react appropriately, we are invariably under an illusion as to the adequacy of our defence resources (against attacks which might involve firearms or other deadly weapons, multiple assailants, etc.). On one view, most of what we practise is going to be of marginal, if any, use in many attack situations. Why? Because serious criminals like to stack the odds in their favour. They don't plan on having a "fair fight". They plan on surprising you and overwhelming you with force and numbers. They don't really want to leave a thing to chance. It is only logical, after all. So how do we cope with this