How many people do you know that have been dedicated to something for more than three decades? Hell, most marriages don’t even last a year these days. But that is how long I have been involved in martial arts in one shape or form. Clearly my role in martial arts has little to do with getting rich, because if that was the case, I chose the wrong profession. No, and as I have noted elsewhere martial arts is an integral part of my life, for many reasons, but most importantly because the experience on the mat has helped me work through a lot of trauma from my childhood. In other words, money or not, I would do it anyway.
It will come as no surprise to those who follow my work that I am an advocate that those who teach, should also be able to perform what they teach for ‘real’. I have never been convinced by the argument that someone can be a good coach in the fight game, but yet, never fights himself. Ill concede, that for some coaches, especially those who are older, and or suffer from debilitating injuries, that they may no longer be able to play the game so to speak. But in those instances, the measure of their success defaults to their students. In that sense, if their students are able to perform for ‘real’ what has been taught to them, then clearly the coaches methodology is sound.
I get asked all the time what do I think about X martial arts instructor, X style or method of martial arts. With the advent of social media, I made a decision that I would never comment by ‘name’ on other people’s work in the martial arts industry. The truth is, not only have I had my fair share of people taking a short video clip that may surface of my work totally out of context, but I am well aware of the martial trolls out there that just like to be assholes. I don’t want to be one of those guys. Notwithstanding, there are so many keyboard warriors these days, some of which are proclaimed experts in the field of martial arts themselves who love to trash talk other people’s work on social media — yet never produce anything of value themselves. At the very least, if you going to call out someone by ‘name’ and attempt to discredit what they are teaching, you should offer a visual counter method of what you believe would work.
There’s a saying, that there are many routes to the top of the mountain, but once you are at the top the view is the same for everyone. There is for sure many routes. The view being the same, is a discussion for another article. What I am always surprised by however, is how many people in the modern martial arts world think that their route is the justified and only one. Here I am speaking mainly about the motivation for someone to participate in a modern martial arts experience.