One of the things I'm trying to do is move away from just the practical ways of teaching fire lighting. I have run a few practical sessions on teaching bowdrill but I didn't really enjoy it which is one of reasons it has brought me to where I am today - exploring the sacredness of fire and my connection with fire. When it comes to sacred fire or just having a deeper connection, I feel the approach needs to be slightly different. So instead of just teaching individuals a practical way to make fire, it will be about connecting with fire on a deeper level before working as a group(s) to welcome in fire whether that is in a short taster session or a full blown "workshop", weaving in stories, folklore,mysticism, ritual, history and traditions as appropriate.
A lot of us humans (and animals\plants etc too!) tend to be competitive and this shows in a lot of things we do, and as a species we wouldn't have survived if we weren't competitive! Maybe we want to be the best we can, or better than everyone else , or get some sort of acceptance or gratitude for what we do. In bushcraft this may be - making a bow drill set from scratch in under an hour, being able to create an ember from the smallest bow drill set, being able to create an ember with the bow drill as quick as possible etc. And yes I've been there and found myself doing those things, and I'm sure I will in the future too :) And yes those skills may be the difference between life and death in a survival situation, and some people like putting themselves in a survival situation just to prove they can do it but yes there are others who do it because that's their passion and they enjoy it.
Also, once you have learnt friction fire, it can be just as easy for it to become another mechanical way of making fire and taking it for granted just as much as using a lighter - and I have found myself there on several occasions. For me it's about not going through the motions, but trying to keep that connection and one way of doing that is to slow down and instead of going for the quickest time, going for the slowest! Take your time over the selection of materials, take your time in making the set, and be aware of everything you do.
And if you are welcoming fire as part of ritual, then it's not about speed or efficiency (aside- yes I have written an article about bow drill efficiency!) but about preparation and doing it with awareness and presence - and in fact you may want to fail and get it right on the 3rd time which is quite ritually symbolic! And also do you have to do it on your own?, Why not do it as a group , and as I've written before most rituals involve several people communally welcoming in the fire.
Also the woods you choose may not be the easiest or most efficient woods, but may be more to do with their symbolism etc - for example Oak was seen to be sacred by the Celts and Slavs.
So if you do just want to learn the practical way then that's all good and there are plenty of very good bushcraft schools but if you want to try something a little bit different, then keep an eye out for my future offerings :)