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MatsuShinshii
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 716
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
It sounds like you have a fairly progressive school! I'm not one to question the instructors on the floor, and I have had conversations with both the CIs and the MI outside of the class. "You're just a green belt" has been brought up during these conversations. Part of the reason for this is that my CIs are relatively new, and the MI doesn't want dissent sewn, which I can understand.

I know that while what happens in my school isn't ubiquitous, it's also not unique.


No I do not consider ourselves progressive at all. As I have been taught this is exactly the way the my Shinshii was taught and his before him. I am not saying ask or question your instructor on the floor, in fact the direct opposite. We are allotted time for questions after class has ended. Personally I would not be much of an instructor ("Teacher") if I did not answer questions. This would make me a dictator.

I understand reasons for not allowing dissension in the ranks but I do not view asking question, whether white belt or black belt, as dissension but as a natural means of learning. IMHO if you do not allow your students to question the why's of the art they are learning so they can understand then you are not teaching the art but dictating the art. How is one to learn? When do they finally get the answers, when they become Yudansha? This is in my mind a fabrication of those not wanting their breadth of knowledge or lack there of to be discovered. In large part I feel this started due to the fact that many that brought the arts to the US where not even true BB's or were just Shodan and did not understand everything themselves.

To me there is nothing wrong with saying you don't know. I have, many times over the years came across questions I did not have the answers for nor did I ever think to ask the question in the first place. I find no dishonor or strike to my pride by saying I don't know but I'll find out and then ask the question of my Shinshii. This is part in parcel how we learn and get better.



singularity6 wrote:
Again, we are discouraged to challenge the instructor. We are not discouraged from asking questions, however.

It seems like you are seeing my point when it comes to the language and the "adaptation" of the Asian culture. Personally, I'm quite eager to learn about other cultures, and even immerse myself in them for a time - but only if they're done properly!


Most of what I know I learned or picked up directly in the Dojo. However with the advent of the internet the learning curve has been lessened immensely.

If certain commands are used look them up and find out what they mean. I don't think I have ever been to a new school that did not have a student manual that gave the words used and the definitions/meanings of those words. If not start your own.

And again you are not challenging your instructor. To ask a question that you honestly do not know and have a genuine interest in is not a challenge to their authority. If they feel this way maybe it's time for you to find a better class of instructors. It would be different if you told your instructor that they didn't know what they were talking about. Asking a question is what students do.

I would have walked out of class looking for a new school after the first week if I was told to just accept everything. Analytical thinking should be encouraged not quelled. A thinking student is a better student. If nothing else you know they are actually interested and invested in the art. This is the point. Why teach a bunch of robots? You want that interest and excitement to grow in your students not be halted.

Call me progressive or what ever you want but I would rather a student ask so I know they understand than to just go through the motions. Students are a reflection of their teachers. It's not a very good reflection on me if my students tell layman "I don't know" or "because my instructor told me to". Students are the arts future. A knowledgeable student is a better future instructor and carrier of the torch than one that is uninformed.

Just another 2 cents worth of my opinion for what it's worth.
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MatsuShinshii
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 716
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
There does not seem to be any unanimous agreement on what is or is not included in “pageantry”. For some it might include any and every aspect of school/dojo protocol, ranks. For others the defenition extends to everything that is “foreign” such as terminology or concepts tied to the cultural view point of where or when the martial art came from.

It might also include everything that is not strictly physical, such as martial arts ethics and moral thinking with regards to when or why one must or must not use the techniques learned.

Doing away with pageantry is a well and good, but it makes little sense if one replaces it with another kind of something similar.


I agree with your statements. Every art or sport has it's traditions. Those that play baseball in other countries have adopted these traditions. We have adopted the traditions of the arts that we study.

This is part and parcel due to the fact that we did not invent these arts and the traditions go hand and hand with learning the art for the most part.

I also agree with others that some traditions such as bowing have been taken to the n'th degree and are an abomination and over exaggeration of the true intent. This again is mostly due to a misunderstanding of what the traditions mean, when, why and how they are used.

With anything overkill can become an issue especially when it is used to control those under you. Everything can be skewed and in this become something that should be controlled and moderated. However that does not mean that a tradition, even though from another culture, needs to be discarded because it did not come from the west.

Having knowledge of the traditions dispels and removes the abuses and ignorance surrounding them. They are there for a reason. However if you do not understand the reason it is easy to judge them as foreign and not worthy of following. The decision is up to the student of whether they want to study that art and follow the arts traditions or find another art.

I think this is the real key. Not to get political but this is one of the problems with society today. If one person or a small portion of people object because of ignorance then it's deemed as worthless and should be removed. It really boils down to ignorance. Learn the traditions and cultural reasons behind them and then make a decision of yourself. No one can force you to do anything that you do not wish to do as we are free to make up our own minds. If you inform yourself and still disagree then leave the art and find something else. It's really that simple. But the answer is not to change the way an art has been taught for centuries. In stead of trying to mold everything to fit into what a few think is right leave and find another art.

Popular or not, the arts were invented long before any of us were born and they have been taught the same way ever since. What makes one or two peoples opinions right over centuries of studying things the same way?

Ignorance! Pure and simple.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12907
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about, if after the pageantry is minimized considerably, or in totality, we do one thing, and one thing only...

TEACH...TEACH...Oh yeah...TEACH; nothing else but that!!



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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1372

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The primary purpose of a school is a place to learn and the role of an instructor is to teach. The “pageantry” only becomes an issue when it is done without rhyme or reason and when it starts to disrupt, impede or distract from effectively teaching and learning martial arts.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 26933
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
The primary purpose of a school is a place to learn and the role of an instructor is to teach. The “pageantry” only becomes an issue when it is done without rhyme or reason and when it starts to disrupt, impede or distract from effectively teaching and learning martial arts.
I agree. Its meant to instill a sense of discipline as to who is in charge, and a hierarchy of sorts for the order of the classes. If its run right, things should correct themselves most of the time, and the students know where and when to fall in line.
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MatsuShinshii
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 716
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Matsumura Shorin Ryu Rokudan 1979 to Present, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teaching is the primary goal to all instructors. I could not agree with you more Bob. However I must still say there is nothing wrong with showing respect if warranted. This certainly does not effect an instructors ability to teach, in fact I would say it helps his/her ability to teach.

But I do whole heatedly agree that the sole focus of an instructor is to teach and thus transmit the art to ones student.

You will get no argument from me on that point. I 100% agree!
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12907
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Teaching is the primary goal to all instructors. I could not agree with you more Bob. However I must still say there is nothing wrong with showing respect if warranted. This certainly does not effect an instructors ability to teach, in fact I would say it helps his/her ability to teach.

But I do whole heatedly agree that the sole focus of an instructor is to teach and thus transmit the art to ones student.

You will get no argument from me on that point. I 100% agree!

To the bold type above...

I agree!! IF WARRANTED!! I can show and receive respect without all of the pageantry!! The pageantry seems to fuel the egos; I'm done with all of that.



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Luther unleashed
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 644
Location: Phoenix
Styles: A few!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure I understand the basis for the original post?

From what I gather, everything described seems like carrying on a tradition. It also sounds like structure. Martial arts has always held a structure much like the military, even in the concepts of rank IMHO! Is it necessary? No, and there are soma styles out there that generally are t as structured like freestyle karate, or many places mixing styles.

A little story, once I had a students grandfather tell me his grandson couldn’t bow to the flag, as it’s a symbol of war. I told him it of course isn’t, that it was paying respect to our country, and bowing to the instructor was a sign of respect to the instructor and so on.

A woman once went pretty crazy on me in social media because of this story, she claimed I was breaking the law and that I couldn’t make somebody bow to the flag. Clearly this sort of thing is a trend lately which I’m sure fired her up, but I explained that I DIDNT make him bow, but I told him he had to perform the customs of the dojo or he couldn’t participate. That’s not trying to force him. I suggested it’s the same is if he wouldn’t bow to me, or wouldn’t say “yes sir”! I have rights as a business owner to make those the rules and not allow anybody to participate. To me it’s not about making people fall in line to order them around, it’s about traditions but also respect, I see many things we do as a way of effectively teaching in a respectful atmosphere.

It’s worth mentioning that i have taught easily a few hundred students in the Phoenix area, and this has only happened one.

The question was “is it necessary”? No I don’t feel it is, but those traditions are important to me because I deviate from many traditional aspect, as an example I don’t yeah one style, I teach multiple around a foundational style but it’s blended. Those other traditions are what separates, IMHO, us from any old MMA place, these things are why I still refer to us as a traditional school. We teach traditional arts in a non “traditional” way, but the outline of class structure is surly “traditional”!

In essence they aren’t needed, but some may have their reasons for their importance as do I!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 12907
Location: Owasso, OK
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luther unleashed wrote:
Not sure I understand the basis for the original post?

The basis? Fair enough!!

The MA, and all that it represents, can do without all of the pageantry that exists nowadays. Somewhere, in all of that pageantry, teaching has to rear up its nervous head, and make itself accountable.

Until the teaching element finally does make itself accountable, the pageantry, in the hopes that it can cleverly disguise itself, will take center stage. On that center stage, teaching has taken the backseat, in which the necessary is lost in the unnecessary.

The summation of "why" is to the summation of "because"!!



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Luther unleashed
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 30 Jan 2014
Posts: 644
Location: Phoenix
Styles: A few!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Luther unleashed wrote:
Not sure I understand the basis for the original post?

The basis? Fair enough!!

The MA, and all that it represents, can do without all of the pageantry that exists nowadays. Somewhere, in all of that pageantry, teaching has to rear up its nervous head, and make itself accountable.

Until the teaching element finally does make itself accountable, the pageantry, in the hopes that it can cleverly disguise itself, will take center stage. On that center stage, teaching has taken the backseat, in which the necessary is lost in the unnecessary.

The summation of "why" is to the summation of "because"!!




But, the way you say it makes it sound as if all those who practice traditional aspects are hiding behind them and using them because of a negative intent rather then some believing they are practicing icing ways of not only being respectful, but also maintaining a particular structure.

I do understand for some this is true but surly not all!
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