Under the microscope

47MartialMan

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As one becomes a martial art nstructor and community activist, likewise to a politician or relgious head, in public view, it would appear to maintain the role or role-model.

In other words, per an example, one would not want to see a drunken politician, minister/priest, or martial art instructor.

In any event, as one is in one of these roles, the attitude should never be "Do as you are told, not as I do." Or loose that given sense of image.

But these images are put under the microscope as if these are not human, or should lack human faults. Like misi=xing these with alcohol, legal violations, or private opinons.

Anyone care to respond.
 

TaiChiTJ

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You bring up a very interesting subject, in the realm of philosophy really, as to just exactly what is the role of a professional teaching martial artist. What is the scope of what they do?

Alot depends on the art you are practicing and how its leaders/organization see themselves. I recently sat in on a Toshindo class at a Quest Center. The instructor spent ten minutes discussing the definition of integrity. As in personal integrity. Then the students were asked to discuss it among themselves, for a few minutes. I had never seen a martial arts class start with a philosophy discussion but the more I think about it the more it seems like a good thing. So obviously the Quest Center under Stephen K Hayes thinks this is part of their role in the community.

Contrast that with anything else and you start to see a wide continuum of what is out there.

I have a friend once who studied kung fu. the instructor eventually told him to learn anymore he would have to become a muslim. my friend declined.
 
K

Knifehand

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I've been in the long time teacher and student position more than once. I've tought classes on morality, integrity, professionalism, dedication and the whatnot. It is my firm belief that if you lack any of these skills you cannot teach them. If you want people to follow your lead, your people need to trust you.

As a volunteer leader and a martial artist, i "attack" my role as a martial artist with the same discipline as i do as a leader.

(i am a Cadet Executive Officer in Civil Air Patrol, United States Air Force Auxiliary)

The idea is practice what you preach.
 
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47MartialMan

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True, but what if one is mislead wg=hat was taught them? What if ine, before meaing a instructor had a alcohol addiction. And martial arts was their way to overcome. But then one social evening, one drink, caused a turmoil.


(Note-This is NOT me but a actual setting in the past of another instructor that I know)
 

still learning

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Hello, All of us who practices the martials arts need to set the right examples. It should start with our teachers and instructors. The people on the outside (non-martials artist) expect us to behave above the rest of the people.

My instructor and all the other instructors do set the right tone of behavior. Our professor is always reminding us about being in the right mind at all times.

We are not perfect and no one expect you to be. We all grew up in different ways and our past does influence our thoughts. It is great when you have a special instructor who is always setting the right examples and is acheiveing higher goals all the time. His standards are always being set higher for himself so we can follow. We (the students of his class) are bless by this.......Aloha
 

terryl965

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Martial Art instructors are roles model but only for a brief while in someones life, like Sir Charles said I'm not a role model I'm a athlete. The same can be said for instructors we teach intigity, respect and everything else in the Dojaang but it is the Family that need to build that in the child at a very young age. Most times we get the kid once the parent has already set there values that is tought at birth. We may be able to instill morality in some but not all.
 

Bod

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What if you teach drunken kung fu?

Or take a certain Taoist approach - i.e. drunkeness is an aid to the true path?

Some forms of martial arts philosophy may take a different stance on getting drunk than others.
 

An Eternal Student

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I suppose it comes down to the relationship between instructor/trainee, and the nature of a martial artist.
Are we led, or do we follow?
If we are led then we simply learn and obey, accepting and taking our instructor as being completely right and practically speaking the word of God.
If we follow, it is us choosing to listen and learn.We still make our own decisions and opinions however.So is the proper nature of a martial artist to be led or to follow?

It also raises another intersting question.How long do we stand in our teachers shadows?There will always be someone better at our art than us, or higher ranking or someone who can still teach you more.So when do you stop being simply a student of Sensei X or Y, and become a martial artist in your own right?I believe there is always more to learn and that everyone can teach you something, but I also believe some-one is more than just who they
were taught by.I mean no disrespect to teachers, in fact I have nothing but respect for teachers, but Im more interested in the individual than the lineage, if you get what I mean.
 
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47MartialMan

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If we are led then we simply learn and obey, accepting and taking our instructor as being completely right and practically speaking the word of God.
But would if one does not accept? What if one was a athesist-does that make him more or less, "under the microscope"?
 

lonecoyote

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An instructor is still a human being. We all have problems, true courage is observed when you watch someone face their problems head on, and give a mighty struggle. Alcohol recovery can be a hell of a process, if I had an instructor who I knew had a problem but was giving it all he had in an effort to conquer his personal demons, well, that sounds like a pretty good role model to me. Its a disease, and some people lose the battle, but some struggle and fight in a noble manner with it all their lives. every day.
 
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Siphus

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There was a post on MAP about some 21 year old kickboxer who punched and killed some 68 year old man the other day. I think this kind of ties into this thread. No matter how old you are you should be able to learn about martial artists version of "ethics". Sure maybe the kickboxers instructor had no hope of reaching the kid, but at what point do we say "Hey, guy-teaching-people-how-to-hurt-maim-and-kill-people... You need to be a better role model."
 
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47MartialMan

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Siphus said:
There was a post on MAP about some 21 year old kickboxer who punched and killed some 68 year old man the other day. I think this kind of ties into this thread. No matter how old you are you should be able to learn about martial artists version of "ethics". Sure maybe the kickboxers instructor had no hope of reaching the kid, but at what point do we say "Hey, guy-teaching-people-how-to-hurt-maim-and-kill-people... You need to be a better role model."
Do you have a link to that?
 

MichiganTKD

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The two main organizations of Tae Kwon Do-WTF and ITF-are very explicit in expecting TKD students to be people of character and morals. That does not mean we are monks or priests. What it does mean is that, as TKD students, and as we get higher in rank, we are expected to be role models and paragons of integrity. There is no choice in the matter.
Let's take alcohol as an example. Kukkiwon rules state that instructors must be moderate in their alcohol consumption. The last thing people need to see is a drunken Tae Kwon Do master. If I am with non-practitioners or other instructors, I may drink, but not to excess. A drunken instructor is a recipe for disaster. What if he forgets himself and wants to fight? My colleagues don't need to see me drunk. If I continually show I cannot hold my liquor, my future with the organization and potential for advancement will be in jeapardy. The only time my Instructor ever seriously drinks is when he is with TKD Grandmasters who are his peers, and then only under certain circumstances, TKD business not being one of them. He never seriously drinks with us, his students.
The same is true for other aspects of my life. A TKD Master must live honorably. This was established in the earliest days of Tae Kwon Do to differentiate it from the thugs who misused it earlier. If my behavior is dishonorable (alcoholism, fighting, family problems, work problems etc.), it reflects badly on the art and me.
I will be dining with someone who is looking for my recommendation for his 4th Dan test. During this time, if he drinks, I might very well test him to see what he is like under the influence. However, I will not get drunk with him. That is not why I am there. I want to know his personality under alcohol. If he gets violent or mean, I cannot recommend him.
And yes, I will only have him drink if he has a designated driver!
 

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