Yesterday afternoon I attended an afternoon-long martial arts seminar. I have trained numerous times under the instructor who ran this seminar. I greatly enjoy what he has to say. I find him friendly, helpful, and patient. My past experiences at such events have been extremely pleseant. My issue pertains to the other students in the class. Generally speaking, I am a young fellow--only a year out of school--and most of the students in this class were older than I am--ranging from their 40s to their 70s. Many of these students also train with this particular instructor on a more consistent basis and, as a result, out rank me.
I fully acknowledge that I am not an expert in this art, and that I don't do things perfectly all the time. Sometimes I need to think things through as I struggle to grasp a technique. Sometimes students, generally older and higher ranked, will come by to give me a hand. At times this can be appreciated, because I glean some genuinely helpful insights from their suggestions. However, for much of the time, the comments that these students make can seem more condescending or blatantly inconsistent with what the instructor is demonstrating. Their comments often seem like they come from a place of ego rather than from a place of genuine helpfulness.
Does anyone else have experience interacting with senior students who are trying to instruct in a way that seems, for lack of a better word, wrong? How do you handle such situations? How do you remain respectful without sacrificing your own integrity?