Clarence Smith Jr. of and Do You Know Clarence?, was asking recently about his show, Do You Know Clarence? Truth? No, I don’t – but it’s not what you think.

In ninjutsu, a technique you look at today will look different in a year’s time, in a decade’s time, and when you finally retire from training. One of my teachers compares it to a chalk mark on a wheel. As the wheel rolls, the mark might look like it’s at the same spot again after one rotation, but the wheel has traveled some distance in that time.

One of the worst mistakes to make with any technique is to say you know it, to say you’ve got it, because you effectively close yourself off from learning more about it, from being free to revisit it in a day’s time, a year’s time, or a lifetime. That same technique, as your skills improve, opens up to reveal more and more secrets, like building a staircase on the fly. Every step you build raises you higher and lets you see more, even if the technique of adding one stair on top of another is relatively the same.

Do I know Clarence? Nope. I don’t want to, either. I want to be open to learn more about Clarence. I want to be free to be surprised, amazed, and shocked by the things that I’ll learn about him in the years to come. To say I know him is to imply that he’s told me everything, and not only hasn’t he, but he can’t. There are some things you just can’t explain. I don’t want to know Clarence, but that doesn’t mean I won’t subscribe to his blog or podcast or new media ventures, because I do – and that’s the first step to learning more.

Do YOU know Clarence? As Clarence says, let it marinate.

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