|Working with Evan at Pennsic.|
Photo by Jen Hostetter
This became clear to me when people would say "Wow! That was cool... how do you do it?", and I would go ".....ummm..."
I had no idea. How DID that shot work? I just... threw it. That's just what the axe DOES.
Teaching people... breaking shots, or combos, or just the basic technique of something... down so you can explain it to someone else gives you a better understanding of the mechanics of it, the physics behind WHY it works.
I have not always felt comfortable teaching. I am not a top tier fighter... I lose as many fights as I win.... so what gives me the right to say "Hey, I know how this works, let me show you."?
I got over that. I am not showing people the way to do something... I am showing them A WAY to do something. I am saying "This is what works for me.", not "This is how it works, period.".
When I break down a technique with the axe, I tell people what I am doing, and where I picked it up. Sometimes, I am reinventing the wheel. I find out that Sir Smacksalot or Duke Flyingwrapshot was doing it that way well before me... and that's fine. Because until I figured out how to explain to my own body how it worked, I just wasn't going to get it.
So my two cents.... if you want to improve, you need to understand not just what others are doing... but what you are doing. The best way I have found... is to teach. Show others, because to do so, you need to break whatever you are doing down to it's component parts... and that will help you grok what it is you actually do. It can be enlightening.
I am hoping to have a video blog out soon with a couple of specific things I do, and why.