It’s really fascinating to listen to Brad and Peppe talk about how they thought the first session went and what they think they should do to improve how the second session is taught. During class then, I took a good look at what was different in how the material was presented. Brad moved the order around, used a few different images, and adjusted how much time was spent on each aspect. Part of this is, of course, a response to the students. They have different questions, connect immediately to different things, and communicate differently from other collections of people. This is a unique opportunity for me to see how the instructor adjusts the same lesson to a new set of people, and to observe all the adjustments. It’s a good reminder that we’re all in a learning process, always seeking to improve our art, our methods, our processes.

Before going in to the class, Brad reminded me to go in without assumptions and to see with new eyes. It’s so easy to think, “oh we just did this. I know what’s happening. There’s no more for me to learn here.” But with fresh eyes, we can discover information on a new level, improve our own working habits (after all, every time you do a scene, it should be like it’s new, or every time you fence, you have to respond to what’s given to you), foster growth, and be present to support a better working environment. And on a simply practical level, just because we’ve done this material recently, that doesn’t mean it’ll work that way in a new situation. Most importantly, we can never be SURE that we know something. In fact, being SURE that we know something is more like an indication that we’re missing something. There may very well be many many layers that we can’t see until we release ourselves from our expectations, and allow ourselves to see further in to it.

Which leads me to working on releasing into intent rather than Trying. Physically, it was most obvious in my grip. The goal is to use intent rather than force so that you are sensitive with your grip, and can be responsive. However, I was Trying so hard to hang on that some muscles in my hand are really sore tonight. Well, it’ll be a good reminder tomorrow when we work on that some more!