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joesteph
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2753
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if the "monogamy" we're examining in our day is something that has its roots in another time, even an extended period of time within the past, definitely in China, and possibly in Japan as well.

Didn't students live with their martial arts teacher in the past? Wasn't it like a family, with the teacher (I'm avoiding saying "instructor" here as too contemporary) as a kind of father-figure? Wasn't it so that students did not actually pay a tuition in these circumstances, but provided for themselves and, every so often when deemed appropriate, offer a gift to their teacher, something that he could live on, as a token of appreciation for all they've learned from him?

This family-type atmosphere would form a family-type bond of loyalty; to study with another teacher would mean leaving the family, and it could have been passed down in altered form that studying under another instructor is being disloyal to him and the martial arts "family" he heads.
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Tiger1962
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Posts: 1100
Location: U.S.A.
Styles: Former SBD; interest in all training styles.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In ancient times (China, for example) that might have very well been the case.

Now, in modern times, we pay a tuition to learn something. Even if a martial arts school or club is family-like in its environment, it's still a business and realistically speaking, as one moves up the ranks from white belt to black belt and the levels beyond, there is a natural curiousity for some to learn and explore other m.a. styles.

You can look at it this way: you raise your children and eventually they will grow up and move away from home or go on to create their own families. Hopefully they will remember their roots and continue to *visit* the family, but, people grow up and move on or if they don't fully move on & do remain *in the family*, an instructor can't wrong them for at least having a desire to supplement their knowledge with fresh ideas and learnings of other styles. If one didn't explore new ideas and ways to use their skills, then they would have a very narrow view of things. It's kind of like only knowing your own heritage or nationality & not learning about other cultures as well.

I see nothing wrong with that nor do I view it as being disloyal.
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joesteph
Black Belt
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Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2753
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger1962 wrote:

[A]n instructor can't wrong them for at least having a desire to supplement their knowledge with fresh ideas and learnings of other styles. If one didn't explore new ideas and ways to use their skills, then they would have a very narrow view of things. It's kind of like only knowing your own heritage or nationality & not learning about other cultures as well.

I see nothing wrong with that nor do I view it as being disloyal.


I agree, Tiger. One of the social studies courses I teach (on the high school level) is philosophy, and we concentrate on thinking for ourselves. The others are psychology, sociology, and history--all of which you touched on in your posting.
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USCMAAI
Orange Belt
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Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 144
Location: USA
Styles: Combat Karate, Kenpo,Jujitsu, and Boxing

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joesteph is exactly right in his assertion of "family loyalty" of the past. This is carried over to style loyalty in most systems. However, with the popularity of MMA this attitude is slowly changing. I think the real difference is between the two schools of thought (Traditionalist vs. Ecclectic) Bruce Lee was probably one of the first Ecclectic martialist, and really suffered major critisims for his attitudes. I think that any student who wants to learn a seperate system should tell his instructor. I also feel that many instructors would not have a problem with this. In my school students are not only encouraged to learn different styles, they are also encouraged to bring that knowledge back to us after they become proficent in that system. Our philosopy is that a system must be in constant evolution or it will become less effective. Besides the more you are exposed to the more you can be preared for.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28089
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chikara wrote:
This is exactly the question I've been asking everyone I know! I do a purely stand up style and my sensei was very upset that I went to check out another dojo. He insulted me a lot, it was not a pleasant experience. / /

It sucks because I'm a short woman and that style is a man's style. He's also constantly saying a woman trained in this style would have no chance against even an untrained man.

Sorry, lots of angst here. Anyways, I really appreciated your article and will probably read it a lot and share it with some friends of mine, if that's okay.


Go ahead and share it with your friends! I don't mind at all.

As for the experience that you had with your instructor, I don't think that I would stick around and put up with that. I don't care what their rank is; it does not give them free reign to insult me.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28089
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joesteph wrote:
I wonder if the "monogamy" we're examining in our day is something that has its roots in another time, even an extended period of time within the past, definitely in China, and possibly in Japan as well.


If this is the case, then it is another example of how sometimes tradition can lead to stagnation. Tradition is not always a good thing.
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