The last was revisiting Coach Blauer's 10th Commandment from his Be Your Own Bodyguard Manual
X – THOU SHALT NOT REBUKE OTHER SYSTEMS
Bruce Lee said, “Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.” This commandment is important on two levels. Firstly, on an emotional level it is so important to make peace with everyone we contact. This attitude is contagious and if we all adopted a more loving and compassionate view of life and of our fellow human beings, we would all experience a significant increase in happiness and peace of mind.
In the martial arts world there exists so much comparison, pejorative competitiveness and politics, that our industry is simply a microcosm of the warring nations and rival gangs that pollute our cities and countries. Please reflect on this.
We are on the same team. We train to better our selves. We choose different schools and styles for a variety of reasons. But we all want the same think. Peace. Inner peace. Confidence. Self-control.
So keep an open mind. Maintain a “Beginner’s Mind.” A beginner loves to learn. He is intent and intense. Learn to communicate, listen to the words, and listen to the voice of body language. When someone shows you a different way or explains a different approach, listen keenly. Savor, digest and absorb.
And secondly, as a martial artist and self-defense specialist, you cannot afford to limit your training. The more you understand any and all strategies, approaches, attitudes and methods, the greater your confidence.
So remember, training must be holistic: Mind, Body, Spirit" -- TONY BLAUER
The amount of negative energy that gets expended around the martial arts community is insane. I can find reams and reams (figuratively) or writing on how this art sucks, or that teacher is a jerk. If half the energy devoted to this kind of thing was aimed at making people's lives better, the martial arts as a whole would be in a much better place.
(For the record, no, I'm no saint. I've contributed to this kind of thing on occasion. I've done many things I can look back on as stupid.)
I'm throwing this out there as a plea to the martial arts community.
Stop shitting on other styles. Other systems. Before you spout off about why this teacher sucks, or that method is terrible, ask youself:
- Have you trained with this person or in this this method?
- Does this method even address the kind of thing that you're training for? (I'm always puzzled when I see people arguing about whether Wing Chun produces good boxers, or Aikido produces good BJJ competitors, or whatever. It's like asking if basketball produces good football players.)
- Does the fact that someone is training in this way actually affect you at all?
The last one is the big one. Because, seriously, unless someone's systema training is really screwing up your boxing, who gives a fuck if people are doing it? Keep boxing. Let people who want to do systema (or whatever), keep doing systema. Just go train.
I can hear the objection now: "But Jake," you say "some people are teaching some really bad stuff. Self-defense that won't work. Cults disguised as martial arts. Are you saying we should ignore that?"
No, no I'm not. I'm a big believer in seeking the truth (hence the blog title), BUT, let's try to learn when speaking out is actually necessary, and if it is, let's try to have a reasonable discourse. Perhaps most of all, let's all remember that, as much as we might like to think otherwise, the martial arts have very little in the way objective evidence to them, and a whole lot of anecdotal evidence. If we must argue, let's try to do it in a productive manner.