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#334785 - 08/31/05 07:16 PM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)?
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello:
I wanted to ask a quasi-philosophic question. In every neighborhood there are usually many schools of martial arts. Lets hypothosize <sp.?> further that these interactions (however infrequent they might be...) are helpful, useful, positive...

What does your school, or yourself personally do to interact with "them"?

Jeff

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#334786 - 09/01/05 10:15 AM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
excellent question. I wish more neighboring dojos either cross-trained and/or shared by guest drop-ins, demos or seminar.

In reality, unfortunately, it's egos that block the dojo doors. There are many levels where something could go wrong which would possibly result in loosing students - real or percieved.
first to mention is 'style-pride' (I think you know where I would go with that if I ellaborated).
then there is 'sensei-envy' or sensei-bias. (x sensei could kick y sensei's ass therefore dojo x is better.)
or, if dojo x really WAS obviously better, what would that do to dojo y's student base?

I think you get the point...ego being the keyword, business being the M.O.

Have you ever tried this ...contact a local dojo and ask them if they are interested in getting the classes together on some saturday afternoon for a joint training session...
There is a good chance the conversation would go something like: "Thank-you appreciate the offer, we aren't interested."

I tried participating in a junior high school "cultural arts" demo. I only had 5 minutes on stage and was going to perform Goju-Seiunchin and talk briefly about Okinawan MA. A local TKD school was also giving a demonstration and didn't seem particulary happy about another MA sharing the stage. The attitude of the TKD instructor put me off but I decided to do it anyway . She insisted her demo be first - no objections from me. Her demo lasted 15 minutes over the already overbooked schedule, and the program director was pacing the floor...I went over to the director and told her since they were behind schedule I'd do it next time and walked out.

Watching the TKD demo, I knew why the instructor didn't want a contrasting MA performing. her students (and her self-held board breaking) were nothing less than embarrassingly terrible. The higest rank student-a 30 something red-belt couldn't kick higher than groin level without loosing his balance with arms flailing. the kata looked as though they took random people off the street and taught them the kata 30 minutes prior to the demo.
The youngest boy (yellow-belt) was the most impressive with his successful jumping over a body and kicking wood. The other breaks were less than successful with the red-belt bouncing off of 2 x 1/2" pine boards when he attempted an elbow strike to break them...he finally did it on the 3rd try. There was J.H. school student muffled-laughter during the demo. lol actually, it was THE worst demo I've ever seen of any MA.

My point is, if ego, politics and games like this go on even for fun cultural events, imagine the uphill struggle it would be getting to train together!

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#334787 - 09/01/05 10:58 AM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Kintama]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Then find common ground that does not involve territory. Wanna play with sticks?

I do think it revolves around positive relationships between teachers. At one point, my (very) little goju group would train with another TKD group in weapons because the teachers knew each other from way back.

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#334788 - 09/02/05 03:48 AM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Kintama]
Bushi_no_ki Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 1667
Loc: POM, Monterey CA
Quote:

excellent question. I wish more neighboring dojos either cross-trained and/or shared by guest drop-ins, demos or seminar.





I have to agree. The instructor's I've met are fairly friendly at tourneys and such, but entering their schools with out the intent to become a student might as well be one of the deadly sins.

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#334789 - 09/06/05 09:31 PM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Bushi_no_ki]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Victor:
Thank you for "dropping-in", your perspective is always interesting.

How/what can (should?) one do to change that... IYHO?
One assumes these people are teachers in one form or another regardless of their relative skills (or their summary lack) so how do you interact with them?

Even dolts, morons, jerks have a "good purpose", some way to be beneficial, if handled correctly... how do folks handle their martial "competators" whatever you consider their bent/skills???

Helpful, useful interaction does not seem to occur much outside of largely (sic. clownish) tournament environs... surely some do in other ways and proverbial arenas?

Jeff

(ie skilled, incompetant, ignorant, expert, detailed, extraordinary, etc., etc.) whatever their ability, they are all "teachers" in some form). Given they are at least that, assuming you want to build.

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#334790 - 09/07/05 08:06 PM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
sunspots Offline
oldtimer/newbie
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 650
Loc: Southern Oregon, USA
Our school regularly invites the other MA schools in our town to participate in our tournaments, and the occasional Sparring Night. (We have the biggest place in terms of square footage, so we usually host.) My Sifu encourages us to see other styles, and see what we can learn from them. (He's driven students 4- and 5 hours to other cities for seminars.) We've had seminars and guest instructors from several different styles of MA. He says all this makes us more well-rounded martial artists.

I appreciate seeing and trying other styles. I can't see myself doing anything but Kenpo at the moment, but I've gotten to meet people and see things I'd never experience otherwise.
_________________________
"Anything unattempted remains impossible."

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#334791 - 09/12/05 01:20 PM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: sunspots]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Good Morning:

<<Our school regularly invites the other schools to our tournaments and Sparring Night.

Any non-competitive cooperation, sharing? Small or large scale??? Book discussions among small groups, "testing boards", first aid classes, talks about XYZ, ?

Jeff

Jeff

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#334792 - 09/14/05 04:16 AM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
I was recently training as a guest at a Tai Chi club in UK. Whilst there the sifu invited me to a seminar of instructors from local clubs who did different arts. Over the day everyone demonstrated their art and did a little workshop for the others. The group included Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Hapkido, Wing Chun and Kali/JKD. It was a very positive atmosphere.

Likewise, when I trained in Glasgow my TKD sabum used to run workshops with a local hapkido group to exchange info and technique. Sometimes "open' tournaments were organised with other styles.

The Judo/JJ clubs where I live in Poland seem to cross-pollenate each other regularly. there is also an annual martial arts show in the local stadium.

I'd suggest trying to organsie a meeting with other instructors. maybe have a core group and meet occasionally for swapping info and social get togethers. If the outcome is positive then you know that it might be ok for your students to cross-train in these other clubs. The competition might even become a fruitful partnership.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#334793 - 09/22/05 07:45 PM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: trevek]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

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

I was hoping someone (sic. still) had the kind of experiences you spoke of in your post. I was curious if others have/had similar positive experiences of this type?

Your description is a hopeful one indeed. I thank you for it!

Jeff

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#334794 - 09/23/05 04:46 AM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Ronin,
you're welcome. It was a very positive experience. I know in UK many clubs and associations invite other MAists to give seminars about other aspects of their arts which might be new to a club/style (like grappling to TKD students).

In my hometown a group of instructors got together to form an advisory board for the public and press about MA and to promote good practice.

TREV:-)
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#334795 - 09/23/05 08:30 AM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: trevek]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

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

Outstanding! Any clue how that occured exactly?

Jeff

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#334796 - 09/23/05 02:54 PM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Not sure, as it was a few years ago and I wasn't involved as I was only just starting MA at the time. I'm not sure it still exists.

I think several of them used the same sports club and may have even trained with each other at some time. Anyway, they started a kind of advisory body. They could advise sports centres etc if a practitioner was legitimate and whether their organisation was a good one.

The only trouble was, as far as I know was that eventually personal and financial considerations began to pop-up. I heard it also began to be a bit of a quango. However the original idea was good.

I think in today's more open environment it would work even better.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

Top
#334797 - 10/03/05 03:01 PM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: trevek]
Galen Offline
Member

Registered: 11/07/04
Posts: 381
I actually had a similar experience back in the small Canadian town of Peterborough.

This is where I went through the ranks in my training. At the time (this occured about 6 years ago now), a fellow karate-ka and I decided it would be a good idea to put together what we called ' An Evening of the Martial Arts".

We went to all the dojos in town, and spoke with the instructors. We rented a huge banquet hall, had mats brought in, and each school put on a demonstration. Each one lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour.

All tolled, we had (if memory serves) about 10 different schools performing. We also had a huge dinner, and a few of the instructors spoke a little on their particular art, etc.

It was a resounding success. Everyone who attended LOVED the idea, and I know several cross training seminars were set up. We had Kung-fu, Karate (several styles), Kendo, Aikido, Judo, kick boxing and a few other arts represented.

Ironcially enough, one of the few dojo's the did NOT participate was the Dojo I was from. The head instructor absolutely refused to have anything to do with it, and in fact tried to forbid me from participating. I ignored him and went ahead with it anyway, resulting in a parting of the ways between he and I. As far as I am concerned, it was a small price to pay.

At any rate, it takes nothing more than the will to see it done to put such an event together. My only regret is that I moved out of town later that year, and the event pretty much died after that. I had hopes that it would be an annual thing, but trying to facilitate it long distance just proved to be too much.

Galen
_________________________
Nothing imperfect is the measure of anything!

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#334798 - 10/10/05 10:58 AM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Galen]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Good Morning Galen:

I wonder what would be required to make something of that type an annual event??? Administratively speaking? Financially speaking? So forth...

How did you enter the doors of the places you knew little or nothing about? Would you have invited the "gorillas" the second time around (The folks who were only interested in the alpha-male domination thing) had you been able???

Jeff

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#334799 - 10/11/05 02:16 PM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Ronin

From a business perspective, many of the "other" schools that folks see as being "competition" are anything but.

One really hard-core teacher in my hometown was a big supporter of the local "family style" school.

"His" market and "their" market were very different things.
And neither was interested in being all things to all folks.

(which is pretty smart business from the get-go, as was checking their egos at the door.)

I think that getting to know the other MA in your market is an excellent idea.
Both from a business and just being a decent person perspective.

As is supporting one another.

To a point of course.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#334800 - 10/18/05 11:10 AM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: cxt]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

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

<<From a business perspective

True. However by the same token any who lesson, degrade, lower the proverbial bar reflect poorly upon us all at a certain point. It is relative granted, however some gyms are teaching dangerously and stupidly...

How do we interact with the dolts-morons & baffoons, in a HELPFUL manner? I completely agree they in one perspective they are doing us a "service", but the same could be said for the last pandemic too! (Doesn't mean such a thing is good necessarily)

Mind you I am not being a macho chest thumper... ~your art is sissy...~. How do we interact with the perpetual "masturbators" who are far happier with the externals (the more the merrier) and quality be damned???


<<I think that getting to know the other MA in your market

Give me a full year and a staff of 20, and I might, might be able to get past the first layer. We are in the most heavily saturated M/A's area in the country. I literally could not visit all the ones I could drive to in 20 minutes in a months time.

However w/ re: to visiting, getting to know them eventually idea. Do you actively seek them out, and pay your respects??? Or do you run into them at the local buffet, laundrymat and merely interact there....?

Jeff

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#334801 - 10/24/05 01:25 PM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5822
Loc: USA
Ronin

Agree 100%--those folks should be opposed at every turn as they poisen the well for the rest of us.

How to best deal with them is the question---I am in favor of haveing at least one of them in business for the purpose of comparision---never hurts to refer potential students to the "other" guy when you know how much better you will look.

I activly seek out the other teachers--if you find good folks that share your values about good, solid training then its good business to support each other.

I try to set up some "cross-training" nights where folks from other schools can jump into class.
Made it vey "casual."

As a business idea--I got the "crosstraining" night into the local daily.
Listed the folks/school that would be teaching and where and when for the next 6 months.

Worked out well for all involved.
_________________________
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#334802 - 10/29/05 09:21 PM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: cxt]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

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

<<I set up some "cross-training" nights where folks from other schools can jump into class..."very "casual."

Ok, how do you figure out their purpose w/o potential bodies? Standard nightmare scenario whereby strangers walk through your door, trained poorly-badly (in some meaningful manner), or are playing a game.... (ie stupid 15yo games, but ego driven garbage none the less).

Interesting idea..... the local paper, "open door", several months in advance.

Hummmmmmmngh,

Thank you...
Jeff

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#334803 - 01/05/06 04:24 PM "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

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

A new year with an old thread, I was hoping/curious if anyone had new views, thoughts, ideas concerning the original posting (ie. How do you interact with the "competition" who are local to you in a positive, helpful manner)?

Anyone?
J

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#334804 - 06/06/06 03:57 PM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
Fletch1 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 2218
Loc: Florida
Interesting question....

Being a BJJ school, we face a similar challenge.

I have been teaching for almost 4 years in my town with a small but dedicated group of students. Not much advertising other than word of mouth. A new instructor moved into town of the same rank as myself but with more of a "name" as far as his affiliation. He invited me to check out his class which to his surprise, I took him up on.

Sat in on a couple, helped him out by coaching some of his students while he was busy with others and got to roll with some of his students whom were all very inexperienced compared to my own. No egos, no attitudes, everything abovce the table.

I made it clear that I wasn't looking to steal his students and I wasn't worried aboult losing my own. He was the one who announced to his class that I taught my own class across town.

We left with an open invite to each other and our students to drop in to each other's schools.

Compare that to places that wouldn't even let me on the floor if I was from a different school.
_________________________
www.brazilianjiujitsunaples.com

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#334805 - 06/07/06 12:59 AM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Ronin1966]
Subedei Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/04
Posts: 479
Aside from having students from other schools in our classes we generally dont. I've suggested we create a task force of individuals with the highest level of skill and oddest hair to travel the city challenging other schools and taking their signs but it hasn't caught on yet...Guess that just means I'm not trying hard enough!

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#334806 - 06/08/06 09:43 PM Re: "Playing Nice" (sic. with the "competition"...)? [Re: Fletch1]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Fletch,
schools that are well-established or doing excellent martial arts aren't going to get many challenges. It's usually the "newbies" on the block that have challengers dropping in, or the occasional "ronin" that runs around dropping challenges in an area until somebody turns them into a pretzel.

When I had a school open on my own, we had a few "challengers" that dropped by and left with their tails between their legs and humble, but once word got out that we did traditional martial arts and weren't trying to steal any of the McDojo's students, it ran its course. We had several schools in the same association that made some bad comments about us, but it was personal animosity that caused it, not anything we did to cause it.

We loved training at, and with other schools, and did it all the time. Once the instructors figure out you aren't trying to snatch their students, they usually get "friendlier"...

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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