Cult like behavior

You have not really lived until you have been part of a Cult, it was not something that was an ambition of mine.
While on the inside it's hard to see the warning signs because the feeling of belonging and wishing for acceptance blurs your perception.

It's character building. :banghead: :)
 
You guys actually make me almost wish I too was in a cult.

My sify is very eager for us to experience other arts and figuring things out for ourselves. A bad attitude to have if you want to start a cult I believe.
 
I belong to a school where a well known WC Teacher/Author came to our school, copied down the stuff from our blackboard and then released it a few months later as his own information. It sounds a bit like a terrible 1970's movie, but that stuff totally happens.
Eric, as I've state already my door is open to all. I really don't care who one has trained with nor for how long. Makes for good conversation when first meeting but it really means nothing. As soon as we start moving, drilling, practicing, sparring it becomes evident if one has any real training.
I also have a lot of information written that students are able to copy/take photos of or have hand outs for students review. Key is 'review' everything I have available for student review has missing pieces or blocks of information. Have been confronted several times by both students and outsiders who had obtained a copy or two of the review material starting it is incomplete or that what I'm teaching is wrong.
Nope not wrong it just that you've got to actually come train with me to get the rest of the material.
 
You guys actually make me almost wish I too was in a cult.

My sify is very eager for us to experience other arts and figuring things out for ourselves. A bad attitude to have if you want to start a cult I believe.
Oldest cult trick in the book. :)
 
My time in Wing Chun has spanned 16 years and three Sifu's with the first being a student of the second. After 14 years including some time away we found ourselves no longer welcome. Being shunned by this group (but not by some members secretly) things that we had simply overlooked but known really to be wrong slowly became clear. (it amazing how you perception changes) We had been part of a cult like group where the leader manipulated his flock to act and think as he wanted, using the threat of banishment to anyone who dared to think otherwise. The classic religious maxim of there being something wrong with each and everyone of us and that through the Wing Chun under his tutelage we could be fixed. Friendships forged within the club being the property of the Sifu to be controlled and ended if one person left. Even marriage with one being destroyed in this way.

Is this common to Wing Chun or even Kung Fu?

Given after changing school and now after 18 months it has been myself not my wife who has just been excluded from somewhere that we thought was different, I am starting to question if this whole Sifu thing over time is fraught with danger given the human tendency "Everybody wants to rule the world". Is it possible for this not to happen when one has ultimate power?

My previous experience has raised my expectations of humility, honesty, integrity and equity are high regards my Sifu, these are qualities that I hold myself to. Control of EGO is also required going hand in hand with humility. During a challenging day involving the loss and a close friend and our family dog, I lacking any filter and discussed the perceived lack of equity in the school regards instruction. "When students attend a class and pay the fee should they not be given equal instruction" Given this discussion I was excluded from the school via email the following morning. (at no time was I not respectful or heated)

I have now learned friends I have made at the school have been warned not to train with me outside the school as this would cause their exclusion. Everyone signs off on their membership that they will not teach or train martial arts out side the school so this rule can be applied how, why and when ever the Sifu wants to.

Cult like I hear bells ringing.

Trained with a few old Chinese guys, and a few Americans as well and never ran into this. My second sifu asked I stop training other styles for a bit, until I got taiji under control, but after that did not much care what I did and at times even asked me questions about it.

Trained in 2 Wing Chun groups, one was rather closed, meaning they all thought what they did was best, but not cultish and the other doesn't really care what you do. Heck I use to do push hands there with some of those guys.

And other that Dr Yang (Yang Jwing MIng), show I only called Dr Yang, I have called all of my teachers by thier first names in and out of class. I did train with Chen Zhenglei, although I am not his student and never saw him outside of a class, I called him Chen Sifu.

I do call my taiji teacher sifu, in class, sometimes (I may be the only one that does these days). However a while back several of his students started calling him "Grand Master".... he told them to stop.
 
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Perhaps only twice unlucky. Unsure if I will go for three.
I would hope that by now you know how to recognize the signs and could bail before devoting too much time and energy to a cult-like training group.
 
I belong to a school where a well known WC Teacher/Author came to our school, copied down the stuff from our blackboard and then released it a few months later as his own information. It sounds a bit like a terrible 1970's movie, but that stuff totally happens.

In a non-culty world, where information was not held back as secret knowledge, a person would visit your school, borrow the information, and if they chose to quote it, they would do so with proper attribution, giving credit to your sifu.

Imagine a world in which WC/VT sifus would share knowledge and credit each other respectfully. You may say that I'm a dreamer... :)
 
If on their Facebook profile their first name is Sifu, get the hell out of there.

+1000

Eric, as I've state already my door is open to all. I really don't care who one has trained with nor for how long. Makes for good conversation when first meeting but it really means nothing. As soon as we start moving, drilling, practicing, sparring it becomes evident if one has any real training.
I also have a lot of information written that students are able to copy/take photos of or have hand outs for students review. Key is 'review' everything I have available for student review has missing pieces or blocks of information. Have been confronted several times by both students and outsiders who had obtained a copy or two of the review material starting it is incomplete or that what I'm teaching is wrong.
Nope not wrong it just that you've got to actually come train with me to get the rest of the material.

You seem to have taken what I related as something directed specifically at you. It is not. Just something that happened that makes me understand why some people are more closed door than others.
 
In a non-culty world, where information was not held back as secret knowledge, a person would visit your school, borrow the information, and if they chose to quote it, they would do so with proper attribution, giving credit to your sifu.

Imagine a world in which WC/VT sifus would share knowledge and credit each other respectfully. You may say that I'm a dreamer... :)

Would have saved a lot of trouble if only the party in question had the ethics to do so in the first place. I'm happy to list who I learned what from (even if they're not always happy to have taught me - ha!)
 
I've seen some cults from a close, but safe, distance. Lost a student to a cult that his mom fell victim to. Worked with the Feds when the Moonies were all the rage and trying to weasel their way into the Martial World.(and this was before I was in law enforcement) Have a buddy who lost a relative to Scientology.

I salute and wish the best for anyone who has escaped a cult, be it major or minor.
 
+1000



You seem to have taken what I related as something directed specifically at you. It is not. Just something that happened that makes me understand why some people are more closed door than others.

In my case my old teacher told us we had to put a piece of paper over the window to stop the fitness gym across the hall security cameras from stealing techniques......... and said it to us like its a fact, like he knows 100% that someone is sitting there taking notes. Some people seem to think the title 'Sifu" is equivalent to being a messiah.
 
In my case my old teacher told us we had to put a piece of paper over the window to stop the fitness gym across the hall security cameras from stealing techniques......... and said it to us like its a fact, like he knows 100% that someone is sitting there taking notes. Some people seem to think the title 'Sifu" is equivalent to being a messiah.

To quote the comic book guy, loneliness and Heimbergers are a dangerous mix.
 
In my case my old teacher told us we had to put a piece of paper over the window to stop the fitness gym across the hall security cameras from stealing techniques......... and said it to us like its a fact, like he knows 100% that someone is sitting there taking notes. Some people seem to think the title 'Sifu" is equivalent to being a messiah.
Sifus are supposed to be messianic, or why follow them?
 
You seem to have taken what I related as something directed specifically at you. It is not. Just something that happened that makes me understand why some people are more closed door than others.
Didn't take it in that manner, Nope...wasn't what my intention was...sorry it came off that way to you.

I understand why some people can be closed door.
It is why I don't list everything on our review sheets.
One of my instructors makes a few small changes on somethings every year. Nothing major but is enough to know immediately who has been practicing and keeping up with the changes. Prevents the higher level students/instructor from becoming complacent or feel they don't need to keep honing their skills.
 
Everyone signs off on their membership that they will not teach or train martial arts out side the school so this rule can be applied how, why and when ever the Sifu wants to.

Cult like I hear bells ringing.

I'd question the need to have students sign something saying they won't train outside the school. That's a red flag right up front, to me.
 
Rule of thumb: If a Sifu reacts badly to being called by his first name, at least outside of class, get the hell out of there.
That's not always a horrible thing. Some are simply following a long tradition, as they were exposed to it. I struggled with this, myself. It's normal in our art (at least in my experience) to hang on to the "Mr." and "Ms." formality with the instructor outside the school. I decided to drop it beyond the dojo walls, and it still feels odd to me to do that. Sometimes, they're just doing what they're used to, rather than having some ego trip.
 
Sifus are supposed to be messianic, or why follow them?
It depends on how we see the Sifu; as a Messiah, or as a teacher of a subject? Does that teacher have unlimited knowledge of a subject? Or does he just have more knowledge on that subject than I (currently) do?

I don't follow my Sifu; I take his classes, and follow his instruction in the context of our classes.

As for the mini-cult thing, that depends on the extent to which we identify with our chosen system. More identification = more mini-cult status. I've come to believe that identifying with a system is like being a "Chevy man" or a "Ford man." I drive a Mazda, really like it, and expect to buy another when the time comes; but am I a "Mazda man?" Nope.
 
We are a model based culture, Models should be a bit more than just charismatic; so, that leaves messianic, but in a good way. :)
 

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