The European Historical Combat Guild

Investigating Europe's Historical combative methods and behaviours

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Shared spaces

Before reading this post, read these other posts first.
Open mind 1
Open mind 2
Continuing the theme of the mind sets of those that provide guidance to developing a skill and those that come to receive it. It will also relate to an aspect that has wider application to what we study.

That is space. Both Personal spaces and Shared spaces.
Personal space being your body, your thoughts and places where that are exclusively your own, Your room if you live with someone, your house if you live alone.

As soon as two people are in a space and at least one of them is aware of the other/s it becomes shared

When we enter a shared space we generally modify our behaviour from that we apply to out personal space. This will  some form of implicit or explicit compromise and negotiation.

A class, seminar a group club etc. are shared spaces. Whether there explicitly expressed rules for how to behave, there will be far more that are implicit. They should be for the mutual benefit of all those that share it.
All involved should be winning, everyone should be gaining something though in some situations the exchange may be unequal and really the benefits should be shared equally. If they are not then something is wrong and you have the right and should renegotiate and and find a compromise so that so those benefits are in play.

However, once you have agree to those standard you are responsible to uphold them.

 When someone isn't willing to compromise or negotiate, then you have the absolute right to ask them to leave or if a student to go. Find where your needs met. People who are not willing to compromise to function in the shared space then they should not benefit by your presence or of those that are willing to work.
The previous posts addressed the more "hard line" closed minded students, but one also encounters the passive participant. These are those people that turn up and take part but really don't commit to the training, if you run a regular class, they probably turn up every week. However they do the bare minimum, do not really give anything to those that work are unwilling to work with every one and generally spend most of their time talking.

Personally I find these people just as bad as the more actively resistant.  They are just as unwilling to learn and are as negative an influence on whomever they work with. Though as mentioned they often work with someone else like them, normally a family member or partner they come with. However their very passivity leads to them being ignored or put up with as "they are not doing any harm". However I would argue that they are and as they have broken the or are not engaging in the mutual contract, and should be told to not take part and dealt with in the same way as any other closed minded person.

Finally I will say that in my experience that the concept of a shared space is one reason why rigid hierarchies are open to misuse and abuse and therefore are a poor model for what we study. The mutual contract is too easily manipulated to perpetuate the hierarchy rather than the learning and with an unbalanced set of benefits for those at the top. Also where the titles and stratification of hierarchy of the shared learning space carries over into interaction beyond. Rather the goal for which the group was formed to serve, which is to educate and improve all those involved.

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