Many people in my social circle who don't train in martial arts will sometimes tell others that, "He knows karate." Sometimes you'll hear children that have started training say they…
It was a hot Sunday afternoon in June 2017 - the air thick with Alabama brand humidity soup. Duncan and I were outside with a 6 pack of beer, two…
I think a lot of students and teachers place too much blind faith in martial art instructor credentials.
John is a cop, therefore he is a qualified shooting instructor. Jake was in the military so he knows everything about combat. Jack lives in Japan and is a Shihan with 25 years of training so he knows the true secrets of taijutsu.
To me, credentials are simply a starting point to take a moment to listen. It’s just a little bit of credibility. It doesn’t necessarily mean what that person says is the best. As students, we have to keep our critical thinking cap on. It’s okay to be skeptical.
When you first visit a traditional martial arts dojo, it can seem a little otherworldly. People wearing strange clothes, saying some things in a foreign language, and what is up with all that bowing?
Some people accept it as just how things are done, but worse are those that won’t ask why those things are done.
In the modern day there are plenty of places that teach some kind of self defense system that is free of all the dojo etiquette trappings. So, what does traditional dojo etiquette (rei-ho in Japanese) have to do with improving my personal defense skills?