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#307164 - 12/11/06 09:50 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Harlan:

<<Is there 'elitism' in MA?

An intersting question.... The generic answer would be of course. "US" vs. "them", (ie non-martial arts population). All by itself an "elitist" view to some degree. If "elite" is defined meaning characteristics and common experiences as an individual, but as a member of a larger group? I would say yes... elite could apply. Examples of potential elitism...

1) Specific/minimum rank requirement to take part in X

2) Mandatory usage of completely alien (ie non-native language) in classes to communicate?


I am certain others exist without too much trouble...
Jeff


Edited by Ronin1966 (12/11/06 10:02 AM)

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#307165 - 12/11/06 10:05 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: Ronin1966]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Does this smack of elitism?

http://www.e-budo.com/html/snobb.htm

I think so...but a more socially acceptable form of it. Then...there are the schools that are 'hard'...keep up or you'll leave (and that is the way they want it). You know the ones...this is 'REAL karate...blood and guts'. Then, there are the schools that don't use tactics of attrition...they simply don't advertise.

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#307166 - 12/11/06 10:43 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: Ronin1966]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Yes...I don't think that people consider this particular 'ism' enough. As you say...potentially...it could be there...

Quote:

Examples of potential elitism...

1) Specific/minimum rank requirement to take part in X

2) Mandatory usage of completely alien (ie non-native language) in classes to communicate?

Jeff




Another example: teaching 'higher' katas to newbies. When did it get written in stone that there were 'higher' katas...and one had to be at an approved level before learning them? For example, refusing to teach Kururunfa (sp?) to someone unless they (insert criteria). Could be belt level, could be years practicing, could be the excuse that the student has to be technically proficient (assumed in belt level/years training).

Then again...the concept of 'special' students...those that get to learn different applications. More levels...

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#307167 - 12/11/06 11:44 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Quote:

When did it get written in stone that there were 'higher' katas...and one had to be at an approved level before learning them?




I believe General Choi did in his Encyclopedia. Note Item 6.

The following points should be considered while performing patterns:
1. Pattern should begin and end at exactly the same spot. This will indicate the performer’s accuracy.
2. Correct posture and facing must be maintained at all times.
3. Muscles of the body should be either tensed or relaxed at the proper critical moments in the exercise.
4. The exercise should be performed in a rhythmic movement with an absence of stiffness.
5. Movement should be accelerated or decelerated according to the instructions in this book.
6. Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.
7. Students should know the purpose of each movement.
8. Students should perform each movement with realism.
9. Attack and defense techniques should be equally distributed among right and left hands and feet.


In any event, Harlan, excellent article you posted. My instructor and I were discussing the whole pyramid scheme associated with "traditional" martial arts in response to the past several threads we've had on here.

I definitely think there is elitism in the Martial Arts. My school is better than your school, because of x. Anytime we don't agree with someone, we call their school a McDojo because they use belts, charge tuition, or read NAPMA instructor manuals, perform patterns, or whatever and sit back and watch them have to scramble to defend themselves to prove they aren't rather than dealing with whatever the issue really is.

As for elitism in training, a good martial arts instructor is going to teach you what you are ready to learn. As an instructor, are you going to put more time and effort into the student who attends regularly, asks questions, and trains to the best of their ability, or to the student who attends infrequently and goofs off? Which one are you likely to inform or include in an advanced class or seminar?

Laura

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#307168 - 12/11/06 11:49 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Quote:

Another example: teaching 'higher' katas to newbies. When did it get written in stone that there were 'higher' katas...and one had to be at an approved level before learning them? For example, refusing to teach Kururunfa (sp?) to someone unless they (insert criteria). Could be belt level, could be years practicing, could be the excuse that the student has to be technically proficient (assumed in belt level/years training).





I don't believe in higher kata only higher understanding and you do not have to be a certain rank to achieve X results.

I could take a complete beginner, show them the basics, and then teach suparempei (If I knew it)as a first kata.

Kata are in different orders from school to school.

Gen choi didn't know everything and he certainly didn't invent kata or it's concepts.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#307169 - 12/11/06 12:07 PM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: tkd_high_green]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Quote:

I believe General Choi did in his Encyclopedia.
6. Each pattern should be perfected before moving to the next.




Okay. TKD is covered. What about karate? Or Kung Fu, or etc.?

Quote:

My instructor and I were discussing the whole pyramid scheme associated with "traditional" martial arts




Could you clarify this statement? I don't understand the word 'scheme' as applied to 'traditional'.


Quote:

As for elitism in training, a good martial arts instructor is going to teach you what you are ready to learn. As an instructor, are you going to put more time and effort into the student who attends regularly, asks questions, and trains to the best of their ability, or to the student who attends infrequently and goofs off? Which one are you likely to inform or include in an advanced class or seminar?




Well...if the attendance book is the rule seems pretty fair. I think the only holdback in this school would be...for the poor students. The ones with spotty training and don't advance due to lack of material or family support.

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#307170 - 12/11/06 12:19 PM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
What about elitism as in "My style is t3h r34l" ? Lineage and style purity have been subjects of elitist debates here on the forums.

Not to mention the dreaded "XYZ won't work on t3h Str33ts". Seem both sides of that here, as well.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#307171 - 12/11/06 12:35 PM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: MattJ]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
This isn't a style bashing thread; I am focusing on whether within one's experience (talk about your own style) elitism exists...either in garnering students, keeping them, or promoting them. Since students DO represent one's teacher, lineage, dojo, principles, etc....it's to be assumed that those 'at the top' (whatever that means in your own system) have been successful at passing whatever internal criteria exists within their particular schools.

Simple question: do you consider the practice of 'closed dojos' to be elitist? What do you think about 'by referral' only.?

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#307172 - 12/11/06 12:41 PM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
tkd_high_green Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Harlan,

The Traditional Martial Arts pyramid scheme, at least as I understood it meant that most of the money raised from testings or class tuition, went not to the instructor or school, but to the instructors instructor and right up the chain to the top.

Back in the day, a portion of my instructors testing fee would have made it all the way back up to General Choi. To get certified for a certain rank, you couldn't just go right to the top, you had to go through all of the middle-men instructors in between.

If some Korean instructor, further up on the hierarchy was willing enough to even come and teach at your school, you weren't allowed to talk directly to him. Questions had to go through your instructor.

You put up with it though, because it was the organization/hierarchy that gave you status and legitimacy. My understanding is that most of the split and factions in tkd came, not from disagreeing with the curriculum but because of money. Either the people splitting were tired of having all of their money taken away from them, or were tired of not getting a share of the cut.

Being able to trace your lineage back to the founder doesn't mean you are going to a good school. Now as a school owner, you can pick which organizations you want to be involved in, if any. And money that you earned at the school stays in the school.

oh and as for the attendance thing, harlan, I tried to make a distinction between the irregularly attending and the irregularly attending and goofing off people. We have students that can attend only once a week but who are very dedicated to their training when they are there and others who attend whenever, but are more of a distraction than anything else.

Laura

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#307173 - 12/11/06 12:43 PM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: tkd_high_green]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
thank you for the clarification. That is not how I define 'traditional' karate...but I understand what you are getting at.

Quote:

The Traditional Martial Arts pyramid scheme, at least as I understood it meant that most of the money raised from testings or class tuition, went not to the instructor or school, but to the instructors instructor and right up the chain to the top.

Laura



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