You can’t always get what you want.
But if you try sometimes,
well you just might find,
You get what you need.
— Rolling Stones
Devin studied Kempo many years ago. I knew his Sensei and enjoyed reports from both of them about how well Devin’s training was going — until it wasn’t.
Devin was an early bird and always got to work crazy early in the morning. He would then schedule Kempo lessons in the early afternoon to make sure that he didn’t get pulled in to any meetings. With great joy he would say “Sorry, Joe, I can’t today. I have an appointment this afternoon. Make sure someone sends me the minutes.” A Kempo lesson is a much better way to spend your time than in a meeting, to be sure.
This worked really well until there was a meeting that he just couldn’t miss. Devin called his Sensei to apologize and canceled his lesson. His Sensei didn’t seem phased, “No big deal, maybe we can do it tomorrow.” he said. Devin thought this was amazingly kind and thanked him profusely. Unfortunately he stopped studying Kempo just a couple of months later.
What happened was simple. He could no longer skip meetings with the explanation that he had an appointment — he knew that he could reschedule it whenever he wanted. He got pulled in to more and more meetings and eventually stopped even protesting. His attendance at the dojo became abysmal and he eventually quit. Once he saw that his Sensei did not prioritize his lessons, he found it hard to do so himself.
It’s unfair to blame his Sensei for his quitting but we can’t ignore the effect his actions had. At the end of the day the goal — unrealized in this case — is for a Kempo student to reach their highest potential and everyone involved needs to support that goal or it won’t happen. This includes the student and Sensei — of course — but also friends, family and classmates. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well I say it takes a village to help someone earn a black belt.
Master Chris SantilloPlease follow us on. . . . . . thank you!