Martial artists sure are lazy these days.
I was talking to a potential student yesterday who, after brown-nosing me to death about how much he admired my school and my philosophy and the Filipino fighting arts, he insults me by asking, “Do you have anything on the north side? The south area is pretty far…”
You must be frigging kidding. You are looking for this kind of martial arts to be right around the corner from you? You’re not willing to drive 20-30 minutes for a real martial arts class? Instead, what do you suppose would be the alternative: perhaps join another McDojo and raise your McDojo count to five? Obviously, you don’t want to study the real art.
Oh, I let him have it. In fact, I let many potential students “have it”. After all, I gotta be me, and these guys really need to get it raw, with no vaseline. I don’t sugar-coat anything–just ask my students. See, the martial artist of today is such a softee, he really doesn’t deserve to be called a “martial” anything these days. They are cut from the same cloth of lazy bastards who collect Tae Bo videos, Insane/P90X DVDs, dusty-but-brand-new exercise equipment, and fat-burning creams. The kind of guy who might purchase a gym membership and never use it. The kind of guy who eat super-sized meals at the fast food joint, but also take fat-burning-while-you-sleep pills and drink natural fat-zapping drinks. And never lose any damned weight.
Martial artists only stick with a program if they get quick rank and don’t have to train too hard and never spar. They like to wear “I’m a fighter” tee shirts and put up pics on Facebook and talk about how pussified today’s martial artist is, yet never duke it out with another fighter. The martial artist of today attends seminars rather than schools, finds tournaments too safe yet does not engage in “unsafe” sparring events, studies youtube clips and instructional DVDs and books and is always good for a demo, but won’t spar for shit.
If they sold a cream that you could just squeeze a tube and rub on some stuff that gives fighting skill, they would never step foot in a dojo again.
I use to travel by bus (non-airconditioned bus, I might add) for hours every week to study with one of my masters. I had to stay in Manila at least two or three days at a time, and slept on the floor of the school, or with a class mate when space was available. There are many people who have traveled 1 – 3 hours one way to study with me every month for years. Out of my Kung Fu students in the Intermediate class, none live near my school. Two travel 30 miles to class and make this trip 3 times a week, and have been doing this for several years.
If you want the art, you do what is necessary to learn it. I have had students come to class monthly from Canada and Texas. I have a student who use to save his money, and travel to California every few months just to train for a few days at a time. I have a student who lives in Washington, DC, and trains with me whenever I get to the East Coast. We talk by phone at least twice a month and I guide his training by phone and email. He has flown out here a few times as well.
Like I said, many of today’s martial artist knows nothing about stuff like this.
And I will not try and convince a lazy student such as this guy to join my school. He will be lazy, impatient, unfocused and undisciplined, and will be a waste of my time. To make matters worse–he might not even be the kind of guy who will pay his tuition on time.
We all know guys like this. Guros everywhere do what they can to obtain and keep such students because we have bills to pay. There is nothing wrong with that; we all take undeserving students. Sometimes we even take them hoping that we just might be able to turn this lousy student into a good one; I was one of those. But in my “old” age of 42 (actually I turn 42 next week on the 12th), I have been there, done that and can forsee such wastes of floor space. So I make it difficult for such students to join by suggesting that they are not suitable matches for our school and in these cases I will recommend the shopping center McGuro.
Hey, as Harry Callahan would say, a man’s gotta know his limitations (nod to Patrick)–and as an experienced teacher, I know when a student is wasting his time as well as mine. You know the grumpy old fart who has all the secrets to the art but won’t share them? Well, I’ve become that guy. This is why I do not accept new students into my Kuntaw class, and why I don’t advertise as much. People watch too much damned TV and Youtube, and if I have one more asshole coming in my school asking about buffalo wrestling and chicken blood and secret arts–I’m kicking his ass.
In the meantime, I’m working on this Fat-cream FMA formula. We are gonna get rich off this stuff!
Thanks for visiting my blog.