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Breaking A Cement Pot

A banyan tree planted in a cement pot will eventually break it. It is the banyan's nature to grow.

A student who is not allowed to grow will leave the dojo. It is the student's nature to grow.

You can stunt a banyan and create a bonzai. It would be a horrible thing to create a bonzai student -- a miniature version of the instructor. How sad!

As sensei, it is our responsibility to nurture our students, to help them to grow, to offer a good example and encouragement, and finally to get out of the way. A good sensei ultimately frees his or her students. It is like holding a bo -- the best grip is not tight but relaxed.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin