toilet paper copy 失敗を繰り返すことで、成功に至る。 Shippai wo kurikaesu koto de, seikou ni itaru. "Repeated failures lead to success."

Somehow a good student of the martial arts always knows the right thing to do at the right time.

The other day a new student was cleaning the bathroom and asked me a question.  He said, "Sensei which direction do you want the roll of toilet paper to go?"  I replied, "I am sure there isn't a right way or wrong way, just put it in."

toilet paper patentAccording to the patent application for toilet paper, the inventor intended the toilet paper to be "over" the top and not be dispensed from "under" the bottom.  I am sure now all my assistants will groan when I scold them for losing focus and putting in the toilet paper in backwards thanks to this diligent student.

As it turns out, like all things in the world of martial arts, there is a right way to do something even with something as benign as toilet paper.  The techniques in class are the same.  One can do anything they want, but in order to get good one needs to follow the way that the technique was intended to be performed.

Closely paying attention in class is a really important factor in getting good.  This high level of awareness enables the student to not only learn the "right" way to do something, but it also gives them the ability to be aware of what is "technically" right and what "works" in the moment (which are sometimes two different things).

How does one know what the right way is?  It is whatever way the teacher is teaching it in that moment.  Thus, teachers must then be aware enough of themselves to be professional in how they teach the class as well as what they teach too.

So which way does your toilet paper go?