There's one in every organization. A devoted minion waiting to please their master. How do people gain these devotees is something I write about in my book. This past Saturday I went to a friend's black belt presentation. Then attended an after party at an instructor's house.
If you've read mybio, you know my opinion of that.
I hadn't been back to the school for many years. By choice mind you. Most of the students have changed. But nothing outside of that has. They still teach the rigid style of martial arts, the same kind that Bruce Lee rebelled against. But there was something more sinister going on that I'd forgotten over the years.
One of the common beliefs that the students and teachers hold is once someone gets a black belt that person is never wrong, or never questioned. Now, they don't necessarily teach this, but that notion is enforced.
One indication is this.
One of the things students do is bow to all of the instructors when they enter and exit the school. It's a form of respect. It's fairly normal in all martial arts schools. But when people started bowing to black belts at the after party, I shook my head. It's unnecessary. They were in someone's home, outside of the formal school setting. And no one stopped it. Brain washed?
Many of the students also take whatever the black belts say as gospel. They don't realize that black belts are just people with a freakin' belt colored in black. And this is where the danger comes from.
A good student is one who follows but also thinks for himself. And as a result, they should ask the teacher questions. Why is this important?
A student must follow in order to learn. This is how wisdom and knowledge is passed down. Fair enough. The student should then think, "Does this apply to me?" Not all the time.
Here's an example: If I were teaching a woman about self defense, she may not have the kind of strength and power that a man has. So accuracy and reaction training is VERY important. She has to be able to make every single strike count because her targets will be much more specific-eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, groin. Her reaction has to be instant, like avoiding a punch, because a single punch can end her day. And women have to take into account long hair if they have it.
That doesn't mean I don't focus on power or speed, which are directly related. But I'd point out what she needs immediately in order to make her dangerous as soon as possible. I'd teach her how men commonly attack women. That way she knows what to look for, and what to attack if she is to be accosted.
If I were to teach a man, I'd still teach him the importance of striking the eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus and groin. But his strength may be enough to offset the attacker without using lethal strikes. So I would point out his physical strengths, his awareness of reach, and the common ways men are attacked.
I'd also get rid of the notion of self defense to both men and women.
As you can see, there are major differences in teaching males and females. And the differences extend to teaching children. They are further distilled down to individuals, depending on who they are.
A lot of these martial arts schools will teach a one-size-fits-all routine that don't take into account how a person learns, how a human body works, or even the self-worth of the student, the mental side. Add the egos that are displayed in a lot of these schools, the bowing, the not able to question teachers, and the rigid routines, are the reasons why I left.
Bruce Lee rebelled against the gospel type of martial arts. He was one of the first to emphasize mixing of martial arts. There is truth in that, which is why MMA is so prevalent today.