Forums > Help! > Teaching Moves (or...The Longest Post Ever)

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arashi 2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx

hoooboy. yes this post is long but hopefully rich and interesting and thought provoking. if you don't care about teaching people then don't toture yourself and skip it. it's taken forever to get it down in words but, if just one person reads it all (lol)and says something helpful or that they were touched, it'll have been worth it. it's gonna take some setup, so nobody misunderstands anybody here... i'm not flaming on anybody, but i feel like this all needs to get talked about, at least for my own sanity. it's been running in my head for some weeks now, ever since coleman asked that last question in the jedi thread, and i am gnawing myself with the responsibilty of knowing the answer to his question. (now don't you dare think this thread is about the jedi thread in any way, or anyone involved in the jedi thread, or even about hop at all) it has been talked about before, but i don't really think like this. it's about egos and moves, and my dilemmas of teaching, and how it is best to learn new moves. that having been said...
first a story.
there's a cartoon called dragonball, and it is so awesome. it is about kung fu, "diligent practice," what we all do , and the philosophies therein. there was an episode recently aired that really struck a cord in me. bear with me here, this will go further

this kid is on a quest, he has to get stronger because this bad guy is coming to try to kill him, although he is pure in heart. he hears about this magic water that makes you strong. it is up in the clouds, at the top of a miles high column of stone. so he climbs it for days and days, and when he gets to the top he finds a guardian, a cat, who holds the water. the cat says "if you can manage to grab this water out of my hands, you can drink it and become a great strong warrior."
well he tries and tries, for a long time, but the cat is simply much too fast. he seems to know what the kid will do before he even does it. after a long while, weeks or months or years, who could say, the kid figures out how to get the bottle, and anticipate the CAT'S moves, i'll keep this short by just saying that much.
anyway as he figures it out, and grabs at the bottle, he drops it in the skirmish to get it out of the cats hands, and it falls over the side of the platform to the ground miles below. well, he is obviously pretty distraught. but the cat, to the kid's surprise, congratulates him anyway. he retorts, well, how will i get strong without the water? i'm doomed!
but the cat says....the water was only regular water. you climbed the pillar, and got strength. your tenacity and training, and hard work, and learning how to anticipate my moves, is what have made you a greater warrior. the water was only a ruse, a goal.

i say this, because to me, moves are like the water... they aren't really all that. if they are just tricks, without a solid basics training, then they are just tricks, and they are fun to do, but the movement inside of them is what matters. if you jump too far ahead in your moves, (which is sooo easy to do nowadays because there are more and more spinners, and they are starting to be able to teach) you will miss out on correcting the subtle mistakes of the more basic patterns like weaves, heck miss out on BASIC PATTERNS EVEN , and your personal expression will suffer. i personally learned moves by doing the few that i knew existed, for years, alongside sage and the rest in my family- until we did them for so long that they were like second nature, a reflex. and since then, i've never really been stumped on moves, in fact i know more than i can really even remember, because if they are reflex the moves will show you what the next move to know is, because all moves are related and teach you themselves... it's a beautiful, joyous, fulfilling unfolding process, discovering a move, leaving you hungry for more, like being in love, don't you think?
i think that it is where a lot of my own inspiration with chains comes from, from the joy of discovery. teachers can be a crutch, and when they are gone, you will still limp. a good teacher teaches one to not need a teacher. you can dance just as beautifully doing a three beat spider(weave) as with a 9 beat conical isolation fractal spider (yup ). but to the beginners, heck even intermediates, actually this is to everybody, myself included, i say work on the basics. if you are stumped, work on the basics. don't know how to do a move? it's simply because you haven't worked on the more basic moves that led up to it. that is all. building a pyramid with a skinny base makes a small pyramid. i say pyramid because that's what's up, Poi are fractal in nature, and follow sacred geometry, like everything else in our universe.

but, see, that's still all just about teaching yourself moves. let's go further. this is where it gets touchy.

another dragonball inspired thought .
there is a line. a line between confidence, and arrogance. confidence is a good thing, it is natural when we are in our power, those times when we are most ourselves and the chatter in the head isn't controlling our very spirit. humility is it's bedfellow. but if we start identifying with the external too much, and lose some of the humility, we cross the line into arrogance.
now, don't get me wrong. it's one thing to be lighting up, and be having fun, like, "hot damn everybody! GET YOUR GAME ON and let's rock this friggin party!" or to figure out a cool move, throw up your arms, run in circles, and be like "goddamn!! I AM THIE SHIZIT YOOOO!"
but you cross that line when you rate yourself against others. everyone, myself included, has done it to some degree. it gets harder to avoid as you get further along your skill level, and usually this seems to center on what hard moves you can do. why is that? it seems like yet another trap of karma and the physical plane.

objectively understanding all this ego and fire society stuff is hard for me, because, god, how do i say this, i usually know more about chains than most people i run across, even tho i'm not the best by any means, so i am in a teaching position usually, and try to be a really humble person, so i can only observe people's actions from a certain perspective.(on top of that, i'm really shy and most people take that to mean i'm snobbish, until they talk to me and realize i'm nice. but maybe that changes how people act toward me) but basically i see people getting ego'd out a lot here in america, and then turn their colors pretty quickly. i am so much more excited, inspired, touched and wanting to learn and teach with someone that has fewer good, clean controlled movements, and wants to share and help people, than by someone who can do a five beat weave but can't control their planes and thinks they are better than everybody. usually those are the folks that go around acting like they know everything, but the problem is once they find out i know more, they treat me a certain way, cause in their minds i'm "better" and they either look up to me or get competitive. therefore the only time i see mr. ego's true colors is when i first meet them, and lotsa times see a lot of ego. but even if they are egos after they see me dance they want to be my buddy so they can learn moves.
so if i was not as good, they would still treat me the way they did when we first met, i suppose. is that how it is? talking about this stuff to people around the states, and in other threads here at hop, with pele and other pro folks, and beginners alike, gives me that impression; that there are more often than not out of control egos all over the place. now, that's okay, really, everybody has an ego, and we all have issues in different areas, and i don't judge harshly because i'm a complete NUT barely on the verge of sanity... but some people have competitive, violent ego PROBLEMS, and have a lot of work to do, you've met them, you know who i mean. and just like with rampant consumerism, the disease of babylon. they don't know that they do, or they wouldn't do it anymore. they just do, and it'll take time to get over it. so is it ethical to just broadly teach people things that they would learn anyway, given patience and discipline, but at the same time can use to fuel their egos thus making true spiritual growth even harder? like would you teach the world how to make a bomb with a tooth pick, if you could? or does the good of teaching far outweigh the spiritual suffering caused by the misuse of power? for instance, why don't monks just teach everybody in the world how to meditate and do levitation, fixing our energy crisis? just an example, tho grossly oversimplified, but there are reasons that hidden teachings are hidden.

the only thing that makes a person better or worse is their lack of or attention to safety. that's where some people just plain suck.

this thread hopefully will be about the ways we learn, and whether some can be more spiritually fulfilling than others. i wanna hear how someone that learned hard stuff right away, and can't discover moves, feels about this. does the hump get crossed anyway? or is it detrimental? am i wrong to think there is a better way to learn, or does it even out in the end? here's some reasons why i want to know...

i'm having some really cool discussions with people off board that choose not to post here. i know also that some of the most advanced, badass, super ninja action mofos in the world, really cool, spiritual people that probably would have great things to say, (things i wish they could say here, for the teaching benefits) don't post here either. somewhere along the way in their lives words and such have made communication with people sucky.... now i know that it is really hard to talk and get subtleties across with only typed words. especially if people are always joking and using reverse psychology as humor, like i do . but it can be pretty frustrating to deal with all the people stuff, and most people just avoid doing it and keep to their own practice.

on that note let me say really quickly that i hope nobody here is mad at me. i sort of am getting the feeling that i may have rubbed everybody the wrong way, but i'm not sure how. probably by putting my foot in my mouth, as usual, and joking and not being quite understood. so this thread is also about trying to bridge any personal gaps i may have inadvertently created, by telling you exactly where i'm coming from. or maybe i'm being a hypersensitive scorpio (gee imagine that).

anybody knows i have shared a lot of knowledge about stuff, especially here at hop, and also that i show anybody that i meet what they want to know. but i have really held back in the teaching moves aspect here at hop, and just try to help people along at the stages they are at, and i seems like others do the same. i'm not saying that to show off. honesty, i just feel a little guilty.

now remember, like i said, the basics are what's important. here is an example, one which explains why i have so much to chew on over this learning issue: to explain how to correctly do stuff like butterfly hyperloop buzzsaws, for example, with the style and terminology out there in the general public is darn near impossible, and to explain how to do them, and other second harmonic moves correctly , requires a lot of basics training in a totally different style that would be way too hard to do in just words. but i sure feel bad when somebody like coleman, who i wanna help, and who i'm sure would love to know, asks how to do it and i don't have a month to answer or, if i even should. i mean i could answer but not the right way. so then i consider the possibility of doing a whole big crazy involved video instruction thing, or a book with pictures and such.
but therein lies the rub, and the point of all this friggin typing* rubs fingers*-
is it ethically, spiritually, right to do all that? especially if i were going to involve money and that whole world in the process? i don't have a problem getting money for my hard work, especially since i don't really buy expensive things, so it's not really about that, but it does "raise the stakes". the healing and growth of all of our spirits are what matters to me, and are the effects i want my actions to have, so with that i need help deciding. really the moves aren't important. the meditation, the discipline of practice, the sharing life with your fellow humans, that's where it's at.
like in karate kid, mr. miagi shows him how to do kung fu by painting a fence. course little ralph macchio just wants to know how to kick butt... but if you spend your time with the basics, the kung fu unfolds like a newspaper, and you can go out and KICK SOME COBRA KAI A$$. lol
but here's the point of this thread... is it right, as a teacher, to teach moves? cause even
here at hop the elders seem to teach some basics, and then usually give hints, nudges, directions, or answers. and i think that's the best way.
you guys, there are people out there that are sooooo friggin amazing, and they don't do this teaching moves stuff, because of these selfsame reasons, so this issue goes beyond me, i think... a lot of people, even here i've read it, say to us, sage, or me, or other _intermediate_ people that i know, that we are advanced . hah! especially since somebody, a friend, taped sage goofing off and sent it into a contest (tee hee), out of benevolent reasons (man we're all poor, and sage sure has shared and used the heck out of that equipment). but we are not all that advanced really. we have a certain style, which does lots of crazy moves, and others have another style, but we are not even the most advanced in the world. IF YOU ONLY KNEW what was out there. this is a great big world. the problem is, there is a lack of teaching out there, because once you start teaching moves, and not technique, or dancing theory, and all the other stuff that goes hand in hand with this art form, people start thinking that they are what matters. and out of naivete they even think that they are some strange concept known as "best" and so most really good people don't teach that kind of stuff... the real stuff, if you are not teaching yourself, needs a flesh and blood teacher, who is wise, or you are just learning the ego karma and not the stillness. and that's a trap.

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

poismylovepoi addict
196 posts
Location: cali

thanks for posting this.
it was long, but the stuff in it was so important it didn't matter. very interesting stuff smile

to spin or not to spin, that is the question.

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