It’s not always you – November 12, 2014, Kim Taylor, Renshi, CI Sei Do Kai Guelph ON, Nanadan

In most budo clubs I know sensei says, at some point or other, “even if I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to you”. It’s always a good idea to listen to sensei correct someone else because in all liklihood you are making the same mistake. This is especially true if you’re at around the same experience level as the guy getting corrected.

But sometimes, good, advanced students who pay close attention do themselves an injury by listening to corrections to beginners. Not all corrections are suited to all students and beginners are often expected to do things differently. By correcting themselves to the beginner level an advanced student can hold themselves back until sensei notices and asks them why they are still acting like babies.

So here’s a quick and dirty guide to corrections in class.

1. if you’re the newest kid on the block sensei is talking to you. No matter what.
2. but some things you ought to just store in the closet until you’re told to fish them out. Deal with it.
3. if you’re about the same pay grade as the kid getting reamed, you’re getting reamed too.
4. if you’re up the ladder by a lot, you may not be the one getting corrected but it’s still a good bet to listen since you may be teaching your own beginners some day
5. listen anyway, it’s polite and sensei may make a joke.
6. even if you’re sensei, listen to yourself, the joke may be funny

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