When does push become pull?

I have previously mentioned the perils of training with someone who continually over-steps the levels at which you feel confident at training at, but sometimes this a good thing.  So what is it that differentiates the partner you train with from being one who makes you uncomfortable when they push your limits to the one who you approach with a slightly weary smile knowing that you might be challenged but you don’t mind?

Part of me thinks it comes back down to that interaction that people have.  Some people in life you get on with, some you don’t.  One person might be a joy to train with for you, but avoided by someone else.  It is a quality which is hard to define.

Being a good teacher is hard.  I have a been a student and teacher in many areas of my life.  As a student I admire teachers who can pause, reflect and suggest another way of tackling a learning problem.  As a teacher I become delighted when a student and I manage to work out the stumbling point.  But sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes more and more confusion results until the student is left more confused and I, as purported teacher, am left feeling frustrated.

Perhaps that is the key bit.  If someone can grasp your issue, then you are halfway there.  And if someone can work through that issue, then there is a real chance of progress.

What I have noticed is that person doesn’t have to be more experienced than you, they just have to be willing.  A few weeks ago I confessed my being thrown from ipon seio nage hangup to someone I was training with.  He’s been training for less time than me, but I wanted to explain why I was going to resist the throw if he went in full throttle.  So we both went slow.  We refined our throwing technique, we refined our falling technique.  I am not going to claim being cured of that slight worry of ipon seio nage, but I am now longer eying up the dojo door thinking of excuses to leave if it comes up in training.

Communication ladies and gentleman!  Mind reading is not a skill many of us possess, and some people are not good at picking up on body language.  Tell your teachers and training partners the points that make you have a mental wobble.  If they don’t care, then don’t train with them.  Instead find someone who is willing to help you overcome that hurdle.

Now excuse me, I still have a lot to work on from falling from a jitsu throw.

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