Perhaps it has always been this way - though I'd like to think not! Perhaps it is the explosion of use of internet, forums, facebook, etc - that just makes it all the more noticeable - but there does seem to be a real lack of 'respect' and 'honourable' interaction going on out there.
That particular element that I am referring to, may think that by putting down the efforts of others, they in some way, build themselves up. These are not just students that I am talking about - there are instructors out there who cry slogans like 'no politics - just training' - who are in reality, more political that even the most seasoned of politicians.
Personally, I encourage all of my students to be respectful of other martial artists and other martial arts instructors - I do this because I want my students to be happy people. When we put others down, we create within ourselves a toxic environment - when instructors put others down, it creates a toxic atmosphere within their school; in fact, I know several schools that have suffered badly because of their instructors penchant for putting other people down.
I have been fortunate in the extreme, in that I have had the pleasure and honour of being able to train with a swathe of truly professional, respectful and highly talented martial artists - throughout Australia, New Zealand Europe, Asia and the Americas. I work with great people, I train with great people - I choose to spend little or no time with people who are not of like-mind.
Martial arts training should be an uplifting experience. Every instructor, in my view, has a responsibility to nurture 'good manners' and 'respectful behaviour' in their students. A little more of this - and a little less 'tall poppy syndrome' and we would have a better martial arts community - one that we could one day describe as even being professional. JBW
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