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#156850 - 06/18/05 02:25 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Victor Smith]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
As much as I respect Victor's view, and the points he has raised, it still begs the question "by whose/what standard"?

Victor has defined his "standard". I'd be interested to hear from other more experienced teachers what their point of view is.

#156851 - 06/18/05 01:10 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Kintama]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

I respect your thoughts, but I never think about the mainstream and would suggest none of us will rise by trying to be where the rest are.

All of my instructors, each and every one of them are far better martial artists than I will ever be, and not stopping either. But all I try is to make my students better than they could ever develop a student to be.

It really doesn't matter if I succeed, but to have a goal to work towards is very special.

And age isn't the issue. Pound for pound the best MA I've ever faced began training in Indonesia at age 4 and by the time he reached 15 years (age 19) would have been a terror both in knowledge and what was 'beaten' into him.

Having experienced his system I doubt there are many people that at 40 could do what he could do at 20, and that includes running a training program.

But that's ok, with each breath I take, day by day I'm still working at producing something better.

Forget the average, let them hang together. Soar in the clouds and rise.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#156852 - 06/18/05 03:28 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Victor Smith]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
BuDoc said:

Educating people and then giving them a choice, I think you will find many that choose the road less traveled.

I disagree. I 'knew' for years that my son was being force-fed crap TKD (not my choice...another topic). The thing is...I 'knew'. No one in that dojo seemed unhappy. They loved it. It was no different than a sports team.
When I would bring up my perspective I would get blank stares from parents. They did not want to see little Suzy there in order to take down a potential mugger. They saw it as an option to ballet...more empowering and less stereotypical. Realism was not what they wanted...they were buying into just another illusion. Sheep.

#156853 - 06/18/05 09:33 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: harlan]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

If they knew what was being offered and they were satisfied they aren't sheep they're just consumers.

I have no problem with the existence of any program, even ones that grate my teeth.

I only prefer they are open about what they're offering.

There are many people who find personal value in arts that I consider worthless. They enjoy training with friends, enjoy the workout, some of them abore violence and enjoy a style that is unrealistic. An interesting example are many of the Aikido groups formed from Usheiba's later teachings. That only use symbolic attacks and are more arts to study rolling. Just like the European Schools that forbid their students from buying the English translations of Usheiba's 1930's books (because he demonstrates strikes with the aikido).

As long as the art they're studying has been realisticly protrayed to the student, thats there choice.

The only problems I truly have are 1. schools that pretend they're teaching self defense and couldn't punch their way out of a wet paper bag (and come to think of it that might not be to easy to do anyway), or 2. schools that pretend they're teaching what they're not, such as TKD or Kempo claiming they're teaching karate.
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#156854 - 06/19/05 02:24 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Victor Smith]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA

I may have come across a tad goofy and harsh on my thoughts of McDojos...having been involved with one in my youth and not recognizing it and wishing, later, that someone could offer a "real" option so I could have a choice.

However, your post here rings loud and true and I echo it having the same feelings with some of the connections I have had with other styles and other so called karateka.

Even though I am not coming from a traditional karate background, I agree with you about the integrity of those who offer what they offer and the thought of just being honest about it.



#156855 - 06/19/05 06:24 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: butterfly]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Ah... now this brings up a very interesting dimension: what is "truth"?

Whilst Victor seems to be suggesting dishonesty or misrepresentation regarding what is being taught, how does one distinguish between those that knowingly do so, and those who don't. i.e. if the person truly believed that what they were teaching is "self-defense" and didn't know any better because of their "limited" knowledge and baggage of experience - irrespective of what age they are?

Who says your version of the "truth" is more true than someone else's?

#156856 - 06/19/05 07:44 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: eyrie]
Bushi_no_ki Offline

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1669
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Eyrie, that is an interesting factor. Maybe she was lied to and told that she could effectively defend herself, and thus believes that what she teaches her students is effective SD. She may only be running a mcdojo because she is the product of a mcdojo.

Age wouldn't even matter in this situation, as a mcdojo student could only run a mcdojo him/herself, regardless of how old or what rank.

#156857 - 06/20/05 02:57 AM Re: Does age matter [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Maturity matters when teaching, age gives people more time to mature.
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

#156858 - 06/23/05 11:32 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: Leo_E_49]
GungFuTy Offline

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 88
Loc: UT
Hi all! A very interesting debate... All that I have to offer is my personal experience. I started learning Gung Fu when I was 12... As soon as I could I joined the adult class. (14 I think was the age requirement) I got a good deal of experience in those classes, especially when the instructor invited me to join the black belt class (Advanced class). I sparred and learned right along side black belts in TKD and Karate, and even some old school boxers (All now learning gung fu). We had some intense training sessions. I of course started assisting in teaching at the school, under my instructor’s super vision. When I got my Black Belt (sash or whatever you want to call it) I moved away and went to college. Just a few months ago, I started teaching gung fu to adults as a college program through the Health Education department. Aikido and Karate are taught as well. Both of these teachers have at least there second degree black and are over 40 years old. I am 23. I teach adults from 16-60. There has never been any question about my ability to teach from either the other instructors or my students. I of course am continuing to study gung fu with my instructor...and have branched out to learn Tang Soo Do and American Kempo. I hope this is useful! Love to teach...Love to learn... To me you can't have one without the other.
Maybe thats why I took up boxing. It's my response to men in white pajamas feeling each other's chi

#156859 - 06/24/05 12:51 PM Re: Does age matter [Re: GungFuTy]
1973 Offline

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 20
My short answer is yes age matters because in something like MA your life experience adds to the perspective from which you teach. I don't have a problem if someone wants to learn from the young physically accomplised practioner as long as they realize the difference between this " teacher" and the 35 or 45 + teacher who's been training for 20+ yrs or more. The new person looking for a school often thinks black belt rank and/or a bunch of trophies and/or media coverage is the ability to teach them to do the same or at the very least they want to claim association with that person implying skill by association. I've always told my students, it is not your place to judge another person, forget about what they're wearing around their waist, get out on the floor and work with them and then you'll know how good they are or what they do or don't know, that's where they'll earn your respect as a MA but you always respect them as a person and their rank as is appropriate. Of course the rub comes in at "the eye of the beholder". It's obviously harder for less trained eyes to distinguish fact from fiction and bull cookies from shinola. BUT if they are young and somewhat immature and they know it and can do it and can teach it, I'll rescind my first remark, but that's a tall order and a rare combination. Again sorry if I rambled.

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