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Thinking You Know

Don't forget that thinking you know or understand something makes it more difficult for you to learn that thing.

Imagine that you understand 50% of a subject. If you think you get it, you will not try to learn the other 50%. You will only know half and will be blind to the rest.

In most cases, a person does not know 50%. It is more likely that he only understands 10%!

There is a big difference between understanding the terminology of a subject and being able to do something. We can talk about punching and the mechnics of a punch, but actually punching is a different thing. Understanding the terminology might help, but is never enough. You have to actually practice doing the thing.

I will give you an example. You can read about kime, but that does not mean you can strike with proper kime. But your mind might latch onto the the term and make you feel like you get it. And if you get it, why pursue it any further?

It is best to keep an open mind. Even if I think I get something, even if I am confident that I can actually do it -- I try to keep an open mind. I think to myself, "I might be wrong." Or I think, "What if there is a better way?"

Remember, thinking you know can be a problem. This is one of the reasons that I do not award any kyu ranks and do not award any colored belts until Shodan. I want the student to understand that there is always more to learn -- that you should not let what you know blind you to opportunities to learn what you do not yet know.


Charles C. Goodin