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Be an Active and Dynamic Student

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Be an Active and Dynamic Student

Beginning your practice of Jeet Kune Do can be very exciting but it can also be a very frustrating time.  As you begin to drill and spar with more experienced and advanced students in your class, you are likely to come face to face with loss and failure.  You will get knocked down.  You will feel pain.  If you let this frustration get to you, control your attitude, then it is likely your performance in sparring and your progress on the path will stagnate and possibly even get worse.

What if, win or lose, you could be completely prepared for every lesson your teacher gives you and every sparring session you face?   What if you could learn the lessons found in your losses and grow from them, accelerating yourself along the path of Jeet Kune Do?

In the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee lays out the fundamental attitude that each student needs to cultivate during each session of Jeet Kune Do training.

“While being trained, the student is to be active and dynamic in every way.”

While everyone has off days and everyone has bad days, your attitude is completely your decision, so as you bow in for class, make the cognitive choice to shift to a mental space where you are completely active and dynamic in your training.  Master your will in that moment by shrugging off your frustration with yourself, with your training partners, with your workday, even with your teacher, and actively engage with the lesson.  Actively listen to the instructions of your teacher and dynamically show that you heard them by performing to the best of your ability.  Be an intellectual fighter by actively concentrating on how your teacher is telling you to perform the technique, drill, or sparring session, not just mechanically focusing on what they are telling you to do.  Dynamically engage with your training partners so that you can bring out the best in yourself and them too!

The students who will not last are those who do not make the choice to be active and dynamic in every way.  They will not fight to master their own will and it shows in their attitude in class.  The student who is not active and dynamic never strives to master the basic mechanics of their technique so that they can begin to intellectually grasp the how and why concepts behind that technique.  Each night, their instructor has them working on the same thing, because they do not take responsibility for synchronizing themselves by drilling and practicing the fundamentals on their own outside of class.

Notice that Bruce Lee does not say that the coach, instructor, or sifu is to make the student be active or dynamic in every way.  This is because your instructor cannot fix your attitude.  That is something that only you can do.  It is a requirement for you to make the decision to be active and dynamic in every way from the moment you step into the training hall.  If you are unwilling to do so, if you place the responsibility of fixing your attitude on your teacher and your fellow students, Jeet Kune Do is not the path for you.

That may be blunt, but the sooner you learn to be active and dynamic in every way, the sooner you will begin your journey on the path of Jeet Kune Do.  Be willing to put yourself out there.  Be the example to your fellow students of what it means to be active and dynamic in every way.  Watch how you raise the bar and raise the performance level of the entire class just through your own attitude and energy.

Your teacher will appreciate it and you will surprise yourself with how you deepen your understanding of Jeet Kune Do. - MuSsang


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