The desperate tall poppies ...

How you see yourself ... and others, impacts deeply upon how happy we will be in life - and often, how well our lives turn out. Within the martial arts community, you don't seem to have to go very far to find someone who is willing to 'slag' someone else off - to put others down - to make disparaging (and often unfounded) comments about other martial artists - this is perhaps, the most disappointing aspect of the martial arts community. It is even more sad, when we think of how often words like 'respect', 'integrity', etc are used as marketing tools to attract new students. I remain astounded at how few people actually live by these credo's ... how little weight 'respect for others' actually has on the martial arts landscape.
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


Matty - GC AKL said…
I feel very lucky to have not come across such behavior John. It saddens me to hear that it even exists. We must practice what we preach. Regards.

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