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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 1999 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
Horsing around with my more macho family members (as weI do from time to time), after being flung against wall by a friend of the family (as I am from time to time despite my size and training--there is just no substitute for the street smarts of some of my older relatives and friends--they fight dirty) he did a techique that I actually recognized from a korean style. I come to find out that
he has a lot of experience, over 25 years, in the martial arts, but none of it is formal. He acquired his training from a relative for free, and he's been in a few street fights. From what I can gather, his knowledge puts him at a least the third degree black belt level. The only person he's instructed is his son, a good, well behaved teenager who only had to defend himself once against a high school jock. The jock was outclassed and luckily the son took it easy on him.

I asked him if he would train me after I get my black belt. My school requires the 1st dans to develop their own training path, either through outside training or private lessons from a mentor. His response was one that I've heard echoed from other people I've met over the years who don't mind showing ME a couple of things or giving advice if they sneak up on me practicing in a secluded area. I call it the Jaded Master Syndrome.

A person I call a Jaded Master is someone who has studied the martial arts from a very early age, is basically a nice, well meaning person, has their "gung fu" down to where it is second nature, but due to one or more bad experiences around the martial arts or fighting--and here is the kicker, they may not have necessarily been BEATEN--decides that it is too risky to continue learning and/or training, and hides out from the martial arts community. Most people will not recognize that the jaded master is a martial artist.

I can pick them out. I tend to notice if a person is very well disciplined, seems to have a fluidic manner of handling conflict, are unusually calm in volitile situations, and displays a great deal of strength for their size. Another thing I've picked up on (thanks to these forums) is if a person actually pronounces the names of various martial arts CORRECTLY, and can correct MY pronunciation. In addition, if a person is horsing around (as in what we call "play fighting", "slap boxing" or friendly wrestling) and stops themselves short of applying a lockt or goes into a stance to catch their balance, most people don't notice. I DO. A lot of times if they find out I'm a TangSooDo student from a friend or relative, they look delighted, where the average person is usually afraid or starts badgering me to take them to my teacher so they can learn how to be like Steven Segal!

These Jaded Masters have a lot of information I think they can share with the rest of the martial arts world. Every time I have ever had a conversation with one they telling things that eventually move me to the next level. I'm glad that they feel comfortable talking to me, otherwise I would have never known some simple pointers about real fighting or realized how truly important it is to master the basics.

Whenever I suggest that a Jaded Master should become a teacher, they are reluctant. Even if I tell them that I would like to train and will keep my source of knowledge a secret they resist. Even if I remind them how they can help the good people protect themselves from the bad ones, they tell me their hard luck story and decide to stay in the closet so to speak.

My fear is that the information they have may be lost. My only hope is that since I tend to be a magnet for some of these types, I can pass on what they've told me to my students once I decide to teach.

MY QUESTION ARE:

1) How can you get a jaded master to come out of their shell? Is this even possible?

2) SHOULD I try to get a jaded master to "come out of the closet"?

3) Should I just be glad that I actually listened when someone pulled my ear for a second instead of ignoring them like I've seen other people do?

4) What types of situations may make a person decide to withdraw from martial arts?

5) How can I keep from becoming a Jaded Master myself?

Cecil

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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 1999 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 157
Location: Evansville, IN, USA
1) How can you get a jaded master to come out of their shell? Is this even possible?

2) SHOULD I try to get a jaded master to "come out of the closet"?

In my opinion, no. I used to teach a very focused self defence class. Someday I may teach again. I have my reasons for not teaching or wanting to teach right now (this doesn't necessarily mean I am a jaded master mind you, but there may be some similarity with what you are talking about). Although, if you are going to try I suggest to do it with alot of respect and tact. Get to understand the person, and understand their reasons for not wanting to teach. Be gentle and respectful. Express yourself with clarity of word, intention and spirit. Certainly the wrong thing to do is to harass them and be beligerent ("Come on teach me some stuff? ... Oh, man, come on, please. ... No really, please teach me some stuff.") That is just not respectful or is likely to get you what you want anyway. You don't strike me as the sort that would do this but well advice is advice, no? I guess it is no different then if you are asking for anything else. Respect and clarity.

3) Should I just be glad that I actually listened when someone pulled my ear for a
second instead of ignoring them like I've seen other people do?

Not quite sure what you mean by this. Do you mean should you be glad when somebody asked you for advice? Yes. Or should you be glad when you have gotten one of those rare gold nuggets from speaking to somebody? Yes. So, I guess yes. But depending on what you mean for different reasons.

4) What types of situations may make a person decide to withdraw from martial arts?

Injuries. Bad instructors. Cherished instructors, or fellows retiring. Death of a cherished instructor (I know the death of Sosai Oyama weighed heavily on one of my instructors). A student being severely injured (I know an instructor who used to teach for a national karate team, when his student was clobbered in mere moments of the first match, he retired). Family commitments. There are lots of stuff, and many of them are good reasons. There are also some not so good reasons, like thinking you know it all.

5) How can I keep from becoming a Jaded Master myself?

Why not just ask for the meaning of life and get it over with? Image

Honestly, I cannot answer this question. I am hardly a master, but maybe I would call myself a jaded exprienced martial artist. I am not much for teaching anymore. It doesn't mean I don't like contributing, learning or teaching per se. Rather I am just picky about it. In the past, maybe I would love to go on to rec.martial-arts and take on the likes of certain people. Now, I don't care. I don't care to teach fools the martial arts. I teach the people who are sincere and good martial artists what I know. I share and learn from people who have wisdom. Maybe in this way, by following a good journey you can avoid being "jaded" per se. I don't know.

Osu!
Jason


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 1999 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 1998 6:01 am
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
I remember reading somewhere that Ryuryu Tomoyose tricked Kanbun Uechi into teaching him self defense!

Ryuryu would come to Kanbun with stories of being in a fight, not knowing what to do. Kanbun would then get excited and show the tricky young man how to deal with the situation. Eventually, Kanbun agreed to take Ryuryu as a student.

Sound to me like a very good example of how to get a "Jaded Master" into the dojo!

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GEM


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 1999 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
It sounds to me like a lot of you experienced guys may feel the same way I do about my hip hop; you are tired of dealing with fools. I even had a couple of guys that I worked with for about six months as a coach. They fell by the way-side. Eventually I got tired and when the project I was in died I did not try to put together one of my own. Why? Because I was tired of dealing with fools; fools who want your money, to challenge you, to milk you for any little bit that you know and not say thank you; fools who assume you are ignorant and know nothing of music; fools who resent you if you ONE thing about music that they don't: just FOOLS.

But throughout that, my martial arts training helped me then. Since I knew how to defend myself, I didn't feel the need to feign toughness; I had the endurance to do long shows; I had a good sense of rhythm and timing; I also put in a couple of movements and footwork into the stage delivery; and I understood the importance of PRACTICE. In fact, it was the music that got me to pick up The Tao of Jeet Kune Do; the martial arts aren't the only arts that have too much rigidity! Just replace the word "martial art" with the name of a particular art form.

If Mr. Jaded feels the same way or similar to the way that I feel about the music, then I know what would get me to get back on the stage or coaching someone; sincerity. Not money, not fame, just someone who likes it and wants to do it for it's own sake. I admit, the cash would be nice, but the only thing that I have ever done just for the money is my day job.

He seems like he may be softening up a little bit. He did mention he may drop in on my class when he gets some free time. I'm not going to nag him, as David suggested, I'll just talk about it if it comes up (he's a friend of the family, heck, he really is like an older brother, minus the DNA; since most of my family likes Jerry Springer, it's kind of hard to talk about Springer and not talk about fighting!)

It's a shame that in a lot of areas of human activity the really informed people get drowned out by the really LOUD ones.

Cecil

P.S. Speaking of Jerry Springer, anybody ever pick up any moves from that show? I could have sworn I saw some TangSooDo on there one day when some woman was fighting her cheatin' lover. She had good technique!

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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 1999 2:49 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
If you get a chance, visit Cecil's website. Very creative and filled with great articles and insights into the martial arts.

I even tuned on a radio station that plays "hiphop" to see what that was all about. . . At first, thought it was a new karate style, probably derived from Ishinryu!! Image

hmmmmmm . . . tried to do Seisan to it, but couldn't get into the rhythem. . .

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GEM

[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited 02-24-99).]


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 1999 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
Thanks!!!!!!

This too is off the subject, but:

I got the forum and set it up. You can link to it from my website:

http://creativebrother.freehosting.net

The topics are NOT limited to martial arts on my forum. I'd like for them to lean in that direction, but I figure, to be fair, since I write about other stuff, I have to be open to discussions about other topics as well. If it gets to be too confusing, then I will limit the frame of discussion.

The way I see it, people can click on whatever they want to click on. From the word of mouth feedback I've gotten, the "Social Heads" read the social stuff and the "Karate Heads" read the karate stuff. A few people read both, which is what I REALLY wanted; for martial artists to learn more about some of my views on the issues, and for some people who may or may not share my views about the issues to learn what it's like to be a student of the martial arts.

Why'd I do this? I figured that martial arts are a PART of life, and they deal with conflict, so why not put other stuff in there. So, I figured, what the heck. Besides, this dual approach is raking in the hits!!! The site is not even a month old yet (started it on 2/1/99) and the hits are rolling in!

Enough about my stuff. Let's get back to the discussions of karate-do.

Cecil

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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 1999 1:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 317
Cecil,
what about the straightforward approach? You would respectfully request that the jaded master teach you so that his skills not be lost to posterity. Or could you maybe ask him why he stopped teaching? Maybe he hurt someone, or one of his students did and he feels guilty about it (hung up his guns like an old western gunfighter who just doesn't like the aggression anymore). Maybe he has simply gone on to other interests in his life (Jon Mills, a very respected godan teacher with a successful dojo in Boston told me a few years ago that he simply felt that he had gotten enough out of the martial arts and wanted to take his life in other directions... no big trauma, just an inward decision to change course. A loss to the Uechi-ryu community, but probably a good thing for him in his own life. Can't argue with him, and trying to trick or hector him into teaching again would be disrespectful.)Perhaps with an ambivalent jaded master you could stay in friendly contact, occasionally get together socially... maybe he would become interested in teaching again someday.


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 1999 4:04 pm 
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Location: Washington DC area, USA
He told me his reason for going underground. It's not anything TOO earth shattering or that even makes HIM look bad, but I figured I'd give as little details as possible in the interest of privacy. And, it's actually a sensible reason to not want to go public as a martial artist. Again, the best way I can sum it up is with my "fools" rant: he's tired of dealing with FOOLS, as I'm sure a lot of you are.

Right now I'm going to continue on in my training and get to 1st dan. After that, I'll ask him since I will be in more of a position to have a need for more instruction in this style. Our school does not have a set curriculum for black belts; black belts are expected to go outside of the nest for further training. My plans are to take up Judo at the local Park & Rec; however I'd like to keep up the striking skills with a live opponent, not the air!

I'll ask him again in the future. I'm not going to nag him, just ask. Maybe he'll warm up to the idea.

Cecil

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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 1999 5:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 159
Location: Valrico, Florida, USA
Cecil,
Maybe you could borrow a lesson from Sensei Kanbun's life, from when he was a jaded master.

You could find yourself a gang and go get beat-up. Then go back to your JM and ask waht you did wrong. Then go back to the gang and get beat-up again. Then...

Wait a minute. On second thought, that doesn't sound like such a hot idea....

sorry. Image


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 1999 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2073
Location: Boston, MA
Cecil,

There are a lot of reasons for martial artists to stop practicing. Some can work through it and some can't. We each have a path and martial arts may not be it, regardless of how "talented" one may be at it.

I have to say though, no offense, but there is not such thing as a "jaded master" who doesn't practice. "Master" as with all dan rankings are relative designations. These designations aren't static things that once achieved/obtained are forever part of a person. Try stop working out for a while and you will quickly notice how fast whatever timing, reflex, distance, power, etc, or other attributes you may have developed quickly evaporate. You CANNOT HOLD on to these attributes. USE IT OR LOSE IT applies here and elsewhere. The Jaded master can pick the skills back up probably faster than some beginner because there's residual body memory and more understanding than a beginner. But, I guarantee you that if you are training hard and sincerely for 6 years and your "jaded master" has not worked out for as long, you're now more skilled than he. I bet my dollars on that.

To be a martial artist is to accept training as an ongoing part of one's life. That's largely what separates us from non martial artists. There is no way around that. Your body and mind change with time and you must train to adapt accordingly (and, likely, your training is changing body/mind as well.)

If your jaded master ever decides to work with you... Fine. If not, as one of my training partners is apt to say, "If he ain't here, we don't need him." You control your destiny. Just train.

david



[This message has been edited by david (edited 02-28-99).]


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 1:24 pm 
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David,
Well said... as usual!


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 1999 1:27 pm 
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Posts: 317
Cecil,
I forgot to add this thought: By now, 1999, there are plenty of highly qualified teachers of various styles and disciplines. Unless you live in the deep woods, you should be able to find any number of good martial arts teachers. It may be a shame that your particular "jaded Master" does not want to practice anymore (I understand what he, and you, mean about the 'fool' factor) but it is not a disaster for you. Keep looking.


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 Post subject: The Jaded Master
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 1999 4:30 am 
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Posts: 1089
Hi Cecil and all,

Some of what you ask resonated to my experience in and out of martial arts.

When I was little I used to read the T.V. guide during the airing of some of my favorite shows--didn't want to miss anything. When I grew up (ha!) I sometimes longed for the time that I would have achieved some goal so I could go to the next level with the next mentor, etc.

Perhaps you, as I, are doing a disservice to your reality here and now (Tang Soo) by looking in the unknown of the future. Are you poised to capture the nuances of Tang Soo when your spirit is excited by the possiblity of being taught or not by your friend? I sure missed a lot from the great episodes of "Have Gun, Will Travel" when my nose was stuck in the T.V. guide!

The aspect of this that contains the real irony is that as an adult my "searches" frequently led to blind alleys. Avenues that I thought ripe for untold treasures were often smoke and mirrors. In retrospect, I would have been far better off simply doing what I was doing and doing it fully, completely, and without reservation.

The flip side of this was addressed in a recent Inside Kung-Fu journal. It was titled, "Have You Selected The Wrong Martial Art?" It may be worth some thought. Maybe not the wrong art but the wrong venue for its study. I'm surprised to hear you say that there is only formal curriculum through Shodan level. Tang Soo was the first art I studied and I recall clearly that there were some very senior seniors at my test board.

I hope some of this was helpful.



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Good training,
David


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