"So who really loses here? Right - all the students who don't give a crap about the politics - but would really have liked the opportunity to "touch and see" the legends they have heard about all these years."
Don't lose heart Uechi-ryu stylists: you are not alone. I've seen the politics in my own style, where some students don't speak to teachers and some masters are mad at you if you've trained under a student s/he disfavors.
This is why on the one hand, I am annoyed at the guys who get one or two black belts in the same or different styles, then break away, declare their own system, and teach their students a hodge-podge of techniques. Then again, I TOTALLY understand why they do, because old habits die hard in organizations, and methods are held on to in the name of tradition whether or not they are still relevent; OR only a select few or favored nucleus of students are taught; OR a student gets overlooked and ends up becoming a master in his/her own right. If the "rebel" rebels because he really wants to push the art forward, hey! Great! If it's out of ego, then well, that's bad. I think the thing that scares me about the politics is that I fear that I may one day get fed up, break off, form my own style of an already fragmented style, and even though I mean well, contribute to the chaos! When will the madness end? Never. Not as long as there are people involved.
I still don't understand why there aren't more open tournaments where one style, say Judo, gets to compete with another style, say Karate-DO or Gungfu. For that matter, you can't even get different schools under the same system to have a peaceful tournament. All you'd have to do is allow the student to score a point by his/her system, or by a system listed in the tournament. I wonder if the fear really is that someone may have his students realize that their skills are ineffective against people who are not inside of their paradigm.
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