[FOUNTAIN]How does Coelho rank?Sometimes from whom you learned counts more than how long you learned. Historically, some of the greatest figures accomplished great works in a short time thanks to excellent teachers.
Ancient Greek general Epaminondas made his mark in history when he stopped the victory run of the mighty Spartans in Leuctra in 371 B.C.. When Macedonian prince Philip II was in Thebes as a child hostage, he accompanied Epaminondas for three years to learn military strategy.
Philip II was released and returned to Macedonia, and when he ascended to the throne in 359 B.C., he immediately launched a comprehensive military reform project. Based on the teachings of Epaminondas, Philip II successfully created the mightiest army in the region.
Philip II first took his son Alexander to battles in 338 B.C., and five years later, he was murdered. Alexander the Great had only five years of field education from this father, but he later established the greatest empire in history. Alexander the Great is revered for both military and political leadership, but he was a student of philosopher Aristotle only for three years.
Roman emperor Julius Caesar learned military strategy and tactics as a young man when he assisted the great commander Sulla for three years. Another great strategist, Hannibal of Carthage, whom even the Romans feared, studied war tactics from his father for six years.
What these historical figures had in common is that they studied under great teachers. Lengthy training does not guarantee a better outcome. You would need good ingredients, but the skill of the cook counts more to make good food.
There are three stages of swordsmanship, Su, Pa and Ri. Su, meaning conservation, is the beginner’s phase where you abide by the teachings. Pa, meaning breaking away, is the phase where you modify the teaching to fit your own style. Ri, meaning departure, is when you make your branch of swordsmanship and leave the teacher. The greater the teacher, the shorter the cycle.
If a good teacher makes a good student, we need an able commander for the Korean national soccer team. Guus Hiddink was in charge of Team Korea for two and a half years and successfully took the squad into the World Cup semifinals. The incumbent head coach, Humberto Coelho, took over the team in March, and nine months have passed. What kind of teacher will he be remembered as?
by Nahm Yoon-ho
The writer is a deputy city news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
More in Columns
Suddenly needing Japan
What legacy would Moon want?
Bracing for Biden
Standoff with Japan
Moon the stockbroker