Yesterday’s morning class had a good turnout. There were about 12 people there. It was my first class as a newly promoted 4 stripe white belt. The major difference I noted during the class was an actual need to understand the instructions. Not desire or wish, but need. Even though I have yet to obtain the blue belt, I feel the pull of responsibility to make sure I have the technical aspects down. I always take class seriously, but I had a different outlook on instruction.
I don’t know if it is possible to have that outlook without having the stripes or belts. I want the technical proficiency and ability to instruct, but it’s different once you have to have that ability. As a professor, I have to know the subjects I teach and research I conduct ‘up and down.’ I have to not only have breadth, but also depth. I must be prepared for ‘off the wall’ questions that are from ‘far left field.’ I also have to be able to defend my positions intelligently. When students ask questions they expect intelligent answers that make sense.
In reviewing my BJJ experience, when I asked a blue, purple, brown or black belt a question I fully expected an answer. I never thought otherwise. They had to know if they wanted to keep the confidence of their students or lower ranking members. A white belt doesn’t have to know, which is why I think I feel a new tug of responsibility.
I will soon have to know.