Knowledge is power
IntroThe ones with knowledge (information, data, facts, etc.), and the will and ability to use that knowledge, wield a powerful tool that may lead to them achieving great wealth and success. How do we gain knowledge? Knowledge is gained in stages. The following describes the stages of gaining knowledge about a martial art.
You don’t know what you don’t knowThis stage will get you in a lot of trouble. You are ignorant, so ignorant that you do not even know you are ignorant. This total ignorance of a subject will cause you to make highly questionable or wrong statements or decisions because of a complete lack of understanding of the consequences of your actions. This often leads to embarrassment, which motivates you to move to the second stage of learning. As related to the martial arts, most of the public is at this stage. They know nothing about the martial arts except what they have seen in the movies, on television, or on the internet, and they know nothing about what they are missing by not knowing.
You don’t know what you do knowThis is just as bad as stage one. You now have attained some knowledge but are ignorant of what you know. You have learned some things about the martial arts, but you don’t understand what it all means. You realize you need someone knowledgeable to explain to you what it all means. You now have enough interest in the martial arts to seek out a martial arts instructor.
You do know what you don’t knowThis not as good as Stage 4, but it keeps you out of trouble. You now realize you are what it is you don’t know and are doing something about it. Martial arts students are at this stage. They realize they know nothing about the martial arts and have started taking classes to gain knowledge.
You do know what you do knowThis is good; it keeps you out of trouble. You now have gained the power of knowledge! Your knowledge of your subject is such that you can make unbiased judgments about it. You understand your subject and can maintain and improve your standard without recourse to an external stimulus. You are an authority on your subject and people listen to and respect your views, and make judgments in your name based on your views. Above all, you have a realistic appreciation of your true value and status, a certainty, a self-assurance, an omnipotence that transcends the less knowledgeable. You are now a high-ranking black belt capable of sharing your knowledge with others who are still at stage two.
Vicious circleAs you gain more knowledge about the martial arts and progress to the master ranks, you find that there is still a lot you don’t know about what you don’t know.