First, let me say “thank you” to the people that have sent us e-mail. I see that there are some others that still do things the right way. I invite any of them to come to one of our seminars, if they wish. They can contact M. Doucet for an application.
Well, I took a look at some martial arts schools and what I discovered was that most of them had lost the “martial” part. It is no wonder that the arts, that at one time were respected, are now, for the most part, looked at as a child’s pastime. I saw programs that belong at an aerobics gym…not a martial arts club. When I started, classes were three hours long and required you to sweat! I see little of this now. There was no “body conditioning” going on at all. I had a friend of my son, hit me in the stomach with as much power as he could muster…he hurt his fist. Also, back when I was training, if you missed a class, you lost out and you were replaced. Only if you had a really good excuse such as sickness, holidays etc. and you called ahead of time, could you save your place. Now, it seems that the teachers have sold out to whatever the student wants. Can you imagine what Western Boxing would be like if the new student had that effect on that sport. It would end up being a joke. I have seen people with big titles, smoking, fat and out of shape and they are supposed to be motivating students…I don’t think so. Now I am not saying that you have to be like a body builder, but at least be able to do what you teach! I have a friend, Ming Chan, who is older than me…he is in his 70’s. He can still do what he teaches. I watched forms that no longer are of any use…they were being done as a dance. I don’t believe that the teacher knows what the moves are for. I have rarely seen kata or forms being broken down and the student still looks like he had just begun. I see black belts around the waists of kids. Fat people, who are out of shape, shouldn’t be a highly ranked, or whatever is being used as a mark of rank, as they do not really represent a high standard. When I learned the Hung style, we spent up to an hour in a horse stance. Once I did a seminar for a school and there were brown and black belts that could barely do the stance at all…let alone for an hour! They were, for the most part, 20 years younger than myself. What has happened to the dedicated students? Do they still exist? I don’t know. I just know that this is not healthy for the arts and if it continues, they will be “arts” in name only.
What you do when your are young will make a difference when you are old. It’s a must to challenge yourself when you are young, as it will help you as you age. Doing blocks or punches with no “fire” will be of no use. If your students ever find themselves in a position where they have to really use their skills, they will only get hurt. This, then, will be the teachers responsibility for not doing his job. A belt will not protect you in a real life situation! Being easy on yourself will not teach the discipline necessary to survive in time of trouble. To borrow a well known saying “no pain…no gain”. That holds true in any endeavor.