Quote of the week goes to my student PL who said “I feel so stupid” after I explained something about Tai Chi fajing principles to him.
He said what he said because he finally understood some of the things I have been saying to him this week are basically things I have been saying for 3 years in one way or another. He felt stupid for taking so long to catch on.
Actually, PL is not stupid. If anything, he is way smarter than I am. But his past habits and exposure can hamper his understanding and prevent him from getting the point way earlier. Its nothing surprising since it happens to all of us in one way or another this seeing but not seeing thing. This is the point of the Zen story of the master continuing to pour tea into the cup of a visitor even after it is full and overflowing.
However, PL has made progress. It is not something you can see but a feel of his hand-wrist-forearm confirmed it. I can remember how his forearm muscles being stiff but now it has loosened by at least 50%. More interesting is despite doing straight sword solo drills his arm muscles has not become harder.
When the basics are slowly but surely grasped the teaching can be picked up faster. In the early part of the lesson I made a point and we did this exercise which PL didn’t get it right all the way :-
I explained it again in this video :-
PL tried it again and he got it :-
It didn’t take PL more than 10 5 minutes to get it. So yes, he can say he felt so stupid but he is not stupid. Anyway, I think its better to be stupid than too smart because being over-intelligent can also hamper learning but that’s another story. At least, if you do not know you will try harder to get it whereas a too smart person will think he knows it and won’t try harder.