Palette or Toolbox?


I spent this past weekend out in New Jersey training, teaching and learning at the annual Buyu Camp East.  It's always a wonderful time filled with outstanding people from all over the world and of course great training. Among the many people who attended, this tale involves a gentleman by the name of Murray Taylor. Murray is a long time practitioner of Budo Taijutsu, former British Army Officer and Israeli Defense Force Soldier. He is a pleasure to know, so I enjoy the times that I get the chance to share his company.

Murray is the handsome gent w/the hat

We were having a brilliant discussion on that first evening after training, when the conversation inevitably came around to martial arts. Murray went on to describe how his teaching started and continues to evolve. One of the analogies that I really liked that he used involves a palette rather than toolbox.  

For decades I have used the toolbox analogy. I thought it rather clearly described what I was trying to communicate. What is the toolbox analogy you ask?! Well, in case you don't know what the heck I'm talking about; it goes something like this:

Each of us is a "mechanic" of sorts and posses a "toolbox" filled with "tools" or skills that are used to build or fix things that need to be worked on. It's an analogy that could be used for just about anything that requires one to have skill to perform.

We often hear someone say, "Here's just another tool in your toolbox." Meaning that what they are teaching is another skill, tactic or technique that may be beneficial for you to use during a situation 
in which it would be appropriate.

I have often expanded this analogy a bit by using the example that I have friends that are great mechanics who can use duct tape, chicken wire and a butter knife to fix about anything and others who have a $50k SnapOn toolbox and couldn't change a flat tire.

Hopefully you get the idea.

Well, Murray's palette analogy is similar but more... colorful =):

Each of us are artists w/perspective, palette, paint, brush and canvas. When we choose to create a picture, we use our artistic ability, paint and palette to mix our colors together in just the right way and then with each stroke of the brush, we begin to orchestrate a picture on the canvas. Some paintings are remarkably realistic, others come from the depths of imagination. Some artists are talented, where others are primal. Some simply communicate in the most basic way, others are so beautifully expressive that their art becomes cherished for generations. Some paintings are down right ugly to most, save one... the artist mother. And a few special pieces are works of art that are looked upon as examples of civilization itself.

Because each artist has a different perception, skill level and materials, each painting is uniquely different. Murray went on to say that if you asked five different artists to paint the exact same thing, you would get five different paintings. Each artists' interpretation of what they were painting would be different. Some subtly, others substantially.

I thought that was a great way of describing it.

So, the next time you are learning or teaching something, think of Murray's palette analogy!

As always...

Keep Going!



Popular posts from this blog

Are people from Crete Creteans??

Attracting An Assault?!

Transformation vs. Change