Another spectacular piece of Master Buckley’s new writing, In Bok Fu Do We Trust. Enjoy!
“When your personal trainer or another black belt – or especially a Grandmaster or Master – offers you feedback, follow these steps to maximize learning – it’s a personal procedure that has always worked for me:
1. Empty your cup – This means sheathing your ego. Ego blockage is the number one killer of learning – especially in martial arts. It also means eliminating all the waste product in your brain so that any and all preconceived ideas do not clog the channels for learning. This is the single most important step you must take if you want to fully capitalize on the comments you receive. Black belt hint: This missed step is why students keep making the same mistakes over and over again. It causes frustration, doubt and even anger within the student – which further feeds the ego. It is also why many black belts stall out in their continued education and growth. I have seen too many students that felt achieving a black belt was the pinnacle of Godhood. In working to become a Master, you must be on a quest to arrive at an egoless state.
2. Put on your thinking cap – Don’t allow your mind to stray during instruction. One moment of not paying attention could add months or even years to your goal of earning your black belt. Your perception of what you are being taught will become your reality when you go to practice. If your mind strays, your perceptions will alter and you will lose crucial elements of your instruction. Therefore, your practice will become incomplete or even incorrect. Black belt hint: This step, when not applied, is why you hear your students say they are getting conflicting information from different teachers. This is also where the wisdom of the teacher is often lost on the student. Step 2 is mostly ineffective without step 1.
3. Listen – Pay attention to exactly what your teacher tells you because it is specific to what you need. This takes extraordinary focus and diligence on your part not to miss any detail. You must bring into play the full force of your concentration. Ask questions if you aren’t totally clear on what to do. Sadly, most students are busy listening to the chatter in their head instead of digesting the pertinent details from their teacher. The best listener often develops into the best leader. Black belt hint: this is why learning is a process for both the student and the teacher. Listening is an art form that requires self-discipline, patience and clarity of mind. Most students do not mean not to listen – they simply aren’t very practiced at it yet.
4. Do exactly what you were instructed to do – Take your instruction to heart and incorporate the feedback into your practice exactly as you were instructed. Do it immediately if humanly possible and don’t stray. Understand there are three components involved – mind, body and spirit. This is the step that separates the men from the boys, the women from the little girls. This is also the step I see students almost always miss and is why we say there are some things that just take time. Black belt hint: This step is arguably the most critical step in one day becoming a Master because it provides the greatest opportunity to get inside the brain and heart of the Grandmaster or Master providing the instruction. In time, this leads you to the doorway you must step through to experience enlightenment. Of course, this step is unattainable if you disregard steps 1-3.
5. Experience it – Test your new skills in all areas of your training. Don’t slip back into old habits – that is the mark of a lazy and undisciplined mind. Execute your movements with a new mind and fresh spirit. Unless you can make your new skills work in real world application, they will remain unrealized gains. Black Belt hint: This step will develop diversity and maturity in your movements and bring you new insights. Without experience, you will not know wisdom.”
Bok Fu Fitness
400M Run (or 40 Double Unders)
10 Mountain Climbers
10 Broken Bow Jumps
10 Chicken Lunges
10 Push Ups
Bear Crawls Up and Down Mat
Crab Walks Up and Down Mat
Inchworms Up and Down Mat
AMRAP 8 Minutes
1 Handstand Push Up
2 Horse Stance Squat Jumps
3 Back Up to V Up
4 Clapping Push Ups
5 Bok Fu Burpees
5 minutes Ball Torture for shoulders