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Jealous Of...

This is a follow up to my last post about Doubling Skill.

When I meet someone who is higher ranked and more skilled than me, I am never jealous of his rank -- I am jealous of his skill. And since skill can only be earned by our own hard work, I think to myself, "I must work harder to be like this fine Karate Sensei!"

I realize that "jealous" is the wrong word. Meeting a fine Sensei is inspiring, motivating, humbling.

Also, I am never ashamed to be less skilled than a fine Sensei. When Sensei Morio Higaonna visited my dojo, I am sure that my students must have been extremely impressed -- I certainly was. If one of my students had said to me, "Sensei, I think that Higaonna Sensei is more skilled than you," I would have said, "You got that right!"

The issue is what we are to do about it. The answer is that we must train harder to earn the skill of such fine Sensei. It is not something to complain about.

I should add one thing. I would feel bad if I felt that I was less skilled than someone who had trained much less than I have. From time to time, we meet such students. If they are my own students, I say, "I get credit for their skill too!" (Only joking, sort of.)

But if a student is more skilled than me and has trained much less, I will try to figure out what it was about his training curriculum that enabled him to develop such skill. Is there something I can learn from his experience?


Charles C. Goodin