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#435267 - 05/31/12 06:01 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Prizewriter]
gojuman59 Offline

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
You make good points prizewriter. I guess I just see it in another light. We don't train children in our class, so it gives a different perspective on this topic. My instructor is my friend, but there isn't any hero worship going on. We train hard but don't just beat each other senseless in the name of training.
I guess I do have trouble with the notion of children training to fight without any ethical teaching. They need more than a set of techniques. They need examples.


#435268 - 05/31/12 07:46 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Prizewriter]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter

Couldn't the whole "ethical teachings" some martial arts schools offer muddy the water a bit? Could a student hold back from using their training when they actually need to use it because "Sensei told me not to" or "I must follow the way of the warrior and refrain from violence". Couldn't the whole dynamic of telling your students when to use their training/when not to use their training inhibit your students ability to think for themselves?

Personally speaking as an adult, I'd be highly alarmed if a person I was training with was getting their information on what was right and wrong from a guy with fancy pyjamas and a black belt, or some guy wearing a Tap Out rash guard. Adults should have enough about themselves to know right from wrong without being told. And as for kids, surely Ma and Pa should be helping them calibrate their moral compass, not someone, as Cord said, they see a couple of hours a week in a martial arts class.

Im not sure I agree with that.At least not all of it. I understand your feelings towards adults,and agree with it,but not when your talking about children.Your teaching them violence,and something should be in place to counteract that to some degree.
Im not saying as an instructor that you're their ultimate life coach but a person needs to know what they are doing to another human being when they perform the actions that YOU TAUGHT them. Just like training a dog, you might teach him to growl and attack,but you teach him not to bite you or your loved ones as well.

As for your opening statements about clouding the minds of students,I dont buy it. If you are teaching a student how to handle themselves in an appropriate manner,and how to appropriately defend themselves, then you have taught them the difference between being a bully and self defense.
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

#435269 - 05/31/12 08:48 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Most adults don't know much about violence either, it's not like the majority of adult dojo shoppers are clued in about this stuff magically by no longer being kids.

For better or worse, people who come to martial arts classes expect something like "self defense"..though they generally have little idea what that entails. Someone who teaches that kind of class is also somewhat responsible for covering the legal and ethical sides of self defense stuff IMO, not just the physical acts.

That's what it should be - coverage of all the stuff surrounding violence that isn't just the physical stuff...i'd argue that in fact for people seeking self defense, the vast majority will benefit more from that kind of knowledge than the physical stuff alone.

Edited by Zach_Zinn (05/31/12 08:49 PM)

#435270 - 05/31/12 09:07 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Interesting points, Prize. I agree that people probably should have *some* idea of right and wrong before stepping into a martial arts school, and it isn't the teacher's responsibility to instill those virtues. However, teachers do have influence, and that influence can help steer people into a path of self-enlightenment. I was amazed to find that kind and honest people could be KICK-ASS like the baddest thugs. It gave me strength to stop being a lying, sniveling douche. Well....mostly, LOL.

It takes some on the instructors part, and it takes some on the student's part.
"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

#435273 - 06/01/12 05:39 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: MattJ]
duanew Offline

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
Pick your school carefully.
Pick your instructor carefully.
Pick your students carefully.
Pick your friends carefully.
You are stuck with your relatives.
You are judged and influenced by the company you keep.
Your students will be effected by you by what and how you teach.
Your school will take on the personality that you allow it to.
The schools personality will effect the student.
The amount of the effect will be differant in each person based on who they are.
Mr. Miyagi vs the Cobra Kai for a Hollywood example.
Whether you stand up and preach or you lead by example or a little of both you influence.
You will change a few lives but not all.
I have had students change their lives around, I have had students who have been arrested and I have arrested some of my former students.
Teach the ones you can teach, reach the ones you can reach but you won't get them all.
THAT'S not your job.

#435276 - 06/01/12 10:25 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: duanew]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 921
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Agreed Dwanew-san

I've seen some clubs/schools/gyms/dojos in my time and they vary from
Cobrakai - so full of ego you can smell the testosterone, and that's just the kid's class!!!!

Then you got the bottom level

The McDojo - a school which is a mix 'n' match but no lineage, no history claming to be Freestyle effective non-contact karate-jujitsu-whaever the market is pointing to these days style.

I got myself a small school, I'm a Mr Miyagi, no egos, just training for the love of it. Its Karate, not jujitsu or kenpo or anything else and that's it with lineage to Japan/Korea (although I have got a offshot (Black Tiger Street Boxing) which is still being sorted)

One thing that truly disappoints me is that I've met a few Hanshi level Martial artists and they were so full of their own stuff etc, but being a good martial artist DOESN'T automatically make you a nice person! Its made a point that I refuse to be called anything more than Sensei, because if I have to behave like that as a Shihan etc, I'm sorry but you can keep the title!

A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.


#435292 - 06/12/12 02:19 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Dobbersky]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I don't know what I could teach anyone about virture or character. I think that the teacher student relationship is much like any other relationship. In relationship we have the opportunity to help each other see ourselves and the world as it is and as we are. Each of us has different life experiences, levels of willingness and capability to bear the truth. Training of any kind (martial or not) can help us to become courageous enough to speak the truth with compassion and strong enough to recieve the truth without being crushed. We can create an ideal or set of virtures (martial/secular/religious)to adhear to. We can even convince ourselves that we have become successful in achieving the standards we set, only to fall prey to our own arrogance. All of us, TMA or MMA, the debauched and the noble, in course ways or refined ways seek our own self interest first. In that we are the same.

#435293 - 06/12/12 10:35 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: oldman]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

Well put.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#435294 - 06/12/12 03:04 PM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: Chen Zen]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
My sensei's attitude was that he didn't teach values, but he refused to teach someone without good ones. Personally, I try to straighten people out.

#435296 - 06/14/12 07:55 AM Re: Character developement and values in MA [Re: oldman]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms

Hello Old friend, Id wondered if id get a chance to speak with you again. Based upon our past conversations, public and private, Id say that you are wrong, on at least one count.

You say you dont know what you could teach about virtue or character but I would say that you are quiet the virtuous character indeed. You have handed down words of wisdom to many here,myself included. Glad to see you

"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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