A new farmer moved into a village. Other farmers in the village grew traditional crops, such as rice, but this farmer wanted to grow a different crop so he could more successful than the other farmers. After studying the climate, soil conditions and equipment at his disposal, he decided to grow bamboo.
The traditional farmers mocked him, called him foolish, and warned him of his impending failure; they were unwilling to accept change or progress. However, the farmer was unshaken in his decision.
During the first year after bamboo is planted, nothing much happens. This caused the other farmers to increase their criticism while they were harvesting their crops. During the second year of bamboo growth, nothing much happens, so the farmer was forced to endure a second year of ridicule, but his confidence was unshaken. During its third year of growth, bamboo becomes fully rooted and begins its phenomenal growth cycle, sometimes growing as much as a foot a day. By the end of the summer, the farmer had a bamboo forest that he harvested and sold for a huge profit. The other farmers were astonished and began to show interest in becoming bamboo farmers as well.
This parable teaches two lessons. The first lesson is that when you have knowledge you have tremendous power. Knowledge gives you confidence to pursue your dreams and goals, regardless of what others think. The second lesson is that just because you do not see immediate progress; it does not mean you should give up. The reason the bamboo tree does not produce until the third season is because it spends the first two years growing roots, building a foundation so that when it is ready to grow it will have the stability to stand tall and reach tremendous heights. Without those roots, the tree would fall over with the first strong wind. Had the farmer lost faith and not had confidence in his knowledge, he might have given up during the first or second year.
Martial art students are similar to crops; some respond almost instantly, others may need the full three years or more to benefit fully from their training. Therefore, instructors must allow each student to grow and develop at his or her own pace. Although there may not appear to be any changes on the outside, growth and progress are happening on the inside, so instructors must be patient, have confidence, and persevere