Master of Arts
- Mar 14, 2004
- Reaction score
- MAP Hell
It seems many people crave the comfort of having some parental figure 'put them in their place'. I think the need for this is easily demonstrated, just look at the multitude of laws on the books that are simply intended to 'keep us from hurting ourselves' and tell us what is good/bad or right/wrong.
Martial Arts are no different; clearly they are made up of a subset of the same people and thus probably will have similar traits.
People crave being told where to go, what to do, who to train with. It's all so much easier that way!
Personally, I get nervous if I don't hear complaints in a while. I know of a person with third or fourth dan who's a beginner's instructor, has been training probably since the end of the 1990's, and who is visibly not aware of the fact that bending your back is wrong. Nobody is ever going to let him in on that in his current place (due to what they call an "open-minded" attitude towards training). That is someone I don't want to end up being compared to.
I find that those who are so concerned about rank tend to exhibit two qualities:
1. They often talk about how under-ranked they are compared to others. And talk about it CONSTANTLY. You know the kind - "LOOK! Did you SEE how HUMBLE I AM!?" This is usually followed up with, "I was offered an 87th dan, but I turned it down for my 4th kyu, do you see how HUMBLE that makes me!" Whatever. You get one or the other, take the rank or shut up. You don't get to brag about both.
I've never encountered these two qualities in one and the same person. We have someone at our place with fourth dan who's been training since the end of the 80's, went to Japan earlier this year and chose not to try the sakki test. You'll be hard-pressed to find people less concerned about rank.
2. Then tend to be the most *ahem* 'cultish' people in the Bujinkan. "Everyone else doesn't get it, except for MY teacher, who turns down rank all the time and doesnt train with Soke because he ranks people incorrectly/has gone soft/doesn't train correctly."
I know of such people, though I wouldn't label them cultish in regards to the Bujinkan, since they're probably already on their way out of said organization. The cultish people in the Bujinkan tend to be those who train with Soke and a couple of other shihan and talk about what they're doing in class as "real fighting".