Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance A long time ago when Sensei was alive a well meaning white belt volunteered to order some uniforms from Japan. He notified everyone and diligently took orders by scribbling everyone's information into a spiral notebook. Many people ordered uniforms including me and Sensei. The student called the company in Japan and ordered each order personally. When the order arrived it was missing items and some of the uniforms were the wrong sizes. He also realized he was short money because he misjudged the exchange rate and had to go back and ask each person for more money and then he ended up ordering a second time to fulfill the incomplete orders. In the end he had to put some of his own money in because the order was wrong because it was his error. I even gave up my uniform so that he could give it to someone else and not pay twice for it. When it was all said and done Sensei ended up getting mad at him and I am sure he felt dejected. In the parking lot afterwards, I gave him a reassuring smile and said, "Welcome to the club."
I didn't intend on being condescending, but what I meant was that only a select few get in trouble and receive a direct scolding from Sensei. The club that I was referring to was the 7Ps club. What this well meaning student didn't know is that anything and everything concerning the dojo and Sensei had to be executed at the highest level. This student wasn't through when he researched his project nor did he ask anyone who had done it before. He also wasn't organized and with Sensei you had to be extremely detail oriented in order to not mess up and he wasn't as evident by his scribblings in a spiral notebook.
One of the main things I learned as student under Sensei was how to be a professional. I, like this student, got burned and then lectured and after a few hundred times I started to learn. What I learned was that execution was nothing without through planning and preparation. Before I would even bring something to Sensei it had to be organized and well thought out or he would pick you apart and/or get mad at you. Dealing with Sensei, I learned how important the military's 7Ps were (Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance). In a martial arts sense, how can you go into battle if you don't know what you're supposed to be doing or where you are supposed to go?
Sensei had an unwaveringly sense of quality which led to us strive for quality in our training and eventually in our lives as well. Today, I scold my own students about their professionalism and how their planning and preparation are almost as and maybe even more important than their execution. I read a quote in Scientific American that sums up many of the lessons Sensei tried to teach me and what I am trying to teach my own students today: "You fail to the level of your preparation."