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My Evolution Is Not Your Evolution


One of Bruce Lee’s most well-know and oft-quoted phrases regarding martial art training is, “My truth is not your truth.” For the purpose of this blog I’d like to replace the word “blog” with “evolution,” so it reads “My evolution is not your evolution.” I believe it’s very important that if you’re a teacher, you don’t confuse your personal martial art evolution with that of your students, and that if you’re a student you don’t confuse your personal martial art evolution with that of your teacher.


As I noted in my blog, “The Role of a Teacher in JKD,” as a teacher I have to expose my students to things (techniques, actions, etc.) I may no longer choose to do or use myself, so that they can experience them and decide for themselves what they can use. Perhaps something that worked well for me in the past may have outlived its usefulness for me now due to my age and physical body. For example, perhaps because my flexibility or sense of balance may have diminished to the point that I no longer feel that I can apply a particular technique such as a spinning side kick to the level of efficiency that I deem it needs to be in order to be effective, I no longer use it as part of my combative arsenal. However, as a teacher I need to expose my students to it as part of their overall tool development because some of them may develop the kick into an awesome weapon that they can use very effectively in combat. When it comes to teaching JKD, with regard to techniques and actions, it’s not simply about protecting students from your influence, as Bruce Lee put it, but also protecting them from your own preferences and prejudices.

Some students tend to mistake their teacher’s personal evolution with that of their own. They forget or ignore the years of training and countless hours the instructor has put in to get where they are with regard to skill and knowledge. I’m not simply talking about what techniques and actions the teacher may currently be using, but where they choose to focus the majority of their time and energy with regard to their training. On the flip-side, some teacher’s may forget that the student functions at a different level of expertise than they have, and may not be at the point in their own evolution (physically and/or mentally) to do what they themselves currently doing.


If you are a teacher, don’t let the students simply do what you happen to be doing at the moment. Keep in mind that they are at a different stage of learning, a different point in their own evolution and gear your training to their level.

And if you are a student, don’t focus on your teacher’s evolution, but on your own personal growth as a martial art; your own evolution.



If you are a teacher, don’t let the students simply do what you happen to be doing at the moment. Keep in mind that they are at a different stage of learning, a different point in their own evolution and gear your training to their level.

And if you are a student, don’t focus on your teacher’s evolution, but on your own personal growth as a martial art; your own evolution.






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