This video is making the rounds. I’m currently dabbling in penmanship, so I eagerly gave it a watch, and then at 2:07 I was struck by what Master Penman Jake Weidmann says about what it took to get to his high level of skill and artistry:
I seems to me that Mastery in any field requires the same process: learn the tools, and spend thousands of hours refining the subtleties. People say, “you make it look easy”. One of my students says, “you’re just not human” at every lesson he has. It’s tempting to accept the praise and just move on, but being a good teacher means reminding everyone that mastery is within their grasp, if they are willing to spend the time refining their work in every aspect of the art form.
That’s why Matt and I not only perform and direct (those are own own expressions of the art form), but are also constantly seeing professional development opportunities. That’s why we travel to work with people who practice the art form and its related skills — acting and martial arts, for instance — with mastery, in some aspect or another. That’s why we spend hours every day working on our instruments, so that we can continue to strive towards mastery and be the best at this work that we can possibly be.
I don’t know what is about stage combat, but so many people stop at the crawling stage. Others make it as far as walking and a few get to running. And very few make it to the world class “sprints and marathons” stage, the stage we all look up to. We admire the Jackie Chan’s of the world, and few people realize that they can achieve something very close to that. Or they know it, but just dont’ know how.
That’s why we write blog posts, and why we teach: we share the knowledge we have and help other people strive for mastery while we pursue our own path.
Thanks for reading, and we hope that your 2016 is your best year yet!