board break

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Things I don't want to be

I've been inspired in martial arts by many people, young and old.  I've also noticed a few things I'd like to avoid like a plague. Here are two things I try to avoid, with only partial success:

Fear #1  Too Much Talking, Not Enough Kicking
photo by Joel Ford
You've been in one of those classes, where the instructor just talks and talks and talks and you never quite have a chance to get your martial groove on.  I live in fear of being that instructor.  I know what I'm thinking as they drone on, and I hope that no one ever thinks that about me.

Sure, sure, we have loads of inspiration and wisdom to share.  But actually, they don't really want to hear it right now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pulling rank or Pulling your weight

If you have to pull rank to get your way, maybe your way isn't all that great.  If the only leg you have to stand on is the fact that you are the Master / Sensei / Sifu / whatever, then maybe you should reevaluate your position.

Leadership should make sense, and rules should have some basis in logic.  Instructors who run their academies by brute force are the lowest type of fake leaders I know.  Insisting on being obeyed, regardless of the validity of one's position, shows weakness rather than strength.

Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee 2011
I am blessed to be part of the Jhoon Rhee International organization.  Every year I am amazed by the example that is set by Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee.  Quite honestly, it's hard to live up to.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

That pedestal is not for you

Photo by: vichie81
It's so easy in our field to become a dictator.  After all, we are the keepers of our tradition, of our standards and we hold the key to belt promotions.  We are the heads of our schools and people come to us actually believing that we have knowledge and character beyond the typical person.  With all that adoration and respect (which we demand anyway, in the name of discipline), how do we NOT get a fat head?

In martial arts, you hear so much about the importance of being humble and I agree that it is one of the top traits in a great instructor or leader.  But how do you know when you are being humble?  What does it look like?  And when is someone just faking it for the sake of reputation?  Humble is a full time job, and doesn't stop when class is dismissed.