martial arts instructors don’t do this

November 11, 2013


abstract_wing_tsunI was in —

A martial arts class once, and the ancestor master from China was there.

There is a serious hierarchy in martial arts, and this man was THE ancestor of the classroom I was in.

I was a baby in that class. It was Wing Tsun.

Someone showed me how to do a move. I tried it. And got it wrong.

The master tapped me hard on the clavicle and said, “Learn.”


Here’s something I notice about writing instructors in the US.

We don’t tap someone on the clavicle after the first mishap and say, “Learn.”

We repeat ourselves about five times going in in the hopes they’ll get it right the first time and then, we cajole them after they get it wrong and repeat. 


And repeat again.

I wonder sometimes what would happen if I just punched someone in the clavicle and said “Learn.”


I’m pretty sure my students would say I already do this.

But I really don’t.



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