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#307154 - 12/11/06 08:28 AM 'Elitism' in MA
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Is there 'elitism' in MA? If yes, how is is expressed?

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#307155 - 12/11/06 08:29 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
little clarification?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#307156 - 12/11/06 08:37 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Well...I just read a thread

http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...rt=all&vc=1

The last comment referred to the practice of acquiring students by referral only...and asked whether or not this was elitist? Recalling recent threads that got a little 'hot' over how to attract students and what is offered, it seems to me that underlying there might a big difference of opinion: of whether or not MA is meant for everybody. Specifically, the practices of attracting students and the 'weeding out' that occurs once they are in the dojo...is there an underlying thread of elitism at work?

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#307157 - 12/11/06 08:41 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Well, then im sure there is to some degree. I dont teach every student I could. Im not sure that it has to do with elitism so much though. Im a firm believer in following my instincts. Sometimes you just get a feeling about someone. I think an instuctor has an obligation to monitor the ones he trains. Lord knows, Id hate to teach a rapist how to grapple effectively or a wife beater how to box. See what I mean?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#307158 - 12/11/06 08:44 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
'Following your gut' could also be understood as 'fitting in' or just plain 'taking a shine' to a student. It is a bias, and a perogative of a teacher. My own has said the same thing.

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#307159 - 12/11/06 09:21 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
"Could" be understood that way. Luckily, I dont think that way. I dont have a friendship type relationship with every student I have or have had. Ive had students who were often annoying, whether to others or just to me, as well as disrespectful students. Some of which grew and changed and some of which who progressed little. Those students never last long. The whole thing is, if you come in asking how to beat someone up, or you come in with blackeyes and bruises Im not going to take you. I think, morally, I have an obligation to weed out bad characters. Anyone one of us should. Would you teach a terrorist military tactics and weapons training? Of course not. On a smaller scale, why would I choose to teach a potentially violent person to be effectively violent?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#307160 - 12/11/06 09:27 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
'Selective' attraction and retention of students can be looked at in various ways. Lots of 'isms' out there can one can 'see' if looking hard enough; Depending on the individual, the 'unfair' radar can go up perceiving 'sexism', or 'racism', etc.

But, specifically, the idea of 'elitism' is a rather...nebulous one.

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#307161 - 12/11/06 09:35 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
student_of_life Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
i think what your getting at ther chen is a little different from the kind of elitism harlen was talking about?, im almost always wrong tho,lol.

seems to me that chen is talking about refusing students because he knows their not mature enough to understand the scope of martial arts training and would only misuse what they learned to hurt people for no reason. harlen is talking about refusing people cause their not good enough yet??

there is a clip from what look like a good book on FA somehwere, its called Deshi i think?, anyway its about a guy in a kendo school, where all the students had to have black belts in some other martial art. in the book the school and the teachers sounded kinda legit, but for the most part most elitists can hide their true motives behind another excuese. like "you need a black belt to train here because other wise you wouldn't learn any of the advanced stuff we study here"

in that way i can justify it, i mean i attend "advanced" belt training as a part of karate seminars, now the focus of these seminars is to learn how to teach the material, so a understanding of the basics is required. that could be considered elitism, but i think its justified.

i don't think elitism is a big part of the martial arts, most pratice humbleness enough, but there will always be [censored] disturbers.

so, im summary, chen can keep refusing the jerks and harlen will tell the big boys to share their toys, or else.

yours in life
_________________________
its not supposed to make sense

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#307162 - 12/11/06 09:36 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: harlan]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Well sure. And thats the whole problem with politcal correctness. These things shouldnt be acceptable of course, but we,ve now made it to easy for people to take the easy way out by using the race card or the sexist card or whatever the situation will allow them to exploit. Personally, I try to never use these types of things to my advantage. I make no excuses for my shortcomings or misfortunes. Also, I say what i mean. If more people did the same, we wouldnt need all that PC garbage in the first place, IMO.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#307163 - 12/11/06 09:48 AM Re: 'Elitism' in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
BulldogTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 294
Well put, but if someone came in with bruises and wanted to learn MA I would try to find out there motive behind there request. Sure some people just want to learn to kick ass and some want to learn to prevent them from them getting there ass kicked.

I recently took over a school, a very small school, because the instructor left. New students will be invitation only or have to fill out an application. This is how I want it. I donít want to be an elitist or seem like Iím all that because this is not the case. I will charge very little and there are no contracts so if I ask you to leave there will be no problems with money owed. This is my way of weeding out people who are not committed or who are beyond the changes that MA can make in a persons life.

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