A Dying Breed..

People’s attitude to training has changed.

Please don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an anger filled rant or a needy expression of emotions.

It is just the voicing of quiet disappointment.

So, how have things changed?

With instant gratification available now, people’s attitudes to the arts have changed.

You can have anything now, or at the latest, tomorrow with next day delivery.

You no longer need to earn stuff.

Sure you need money but with the welfare state you can even get that for free.

You can have anything you want, as you are entitled.

It is your right as a citizen to have everything you want, when you want and anyone saying different is denying you your human rights.

Therefore, nothing has value.

Training in martial arts used to mean something.

It meant you understood the reality of life, the need to protect yourself and your family.

The need to harden yourself for battle.

You realised your training needed to be hard to prepare you for what was to come.

Sweat shed in training was blood spared in war..

That changed in modem times, it became a need for self-improvement.

To become something more.

Students still trained hard, understanding the hardship would transform then into better people.

You learned the discipline and hard work changed your life.

Principles that stood you in good stead for the outside world. Having a solid work ethic will improve your circumstances.

With the change in society, the need for self-protection has been replaced by protection by state.

Unfortunately, society believes violence no longer exists. This is a believe I do not hold, but that I will cover at  another time.

This paradigm shift has changed our arts into nothing more than a social acceptable form of fitness.

No talk of violence, no talk of law, no discussion of the need for vigilance.

Instead classes revolve around fitness, calories burnt and excessive water breaks, which allow you to take “selfies”, tag social media while checking your phone for notifications.

People no longer value the lessons the arts teach

No more do we need discipline or work ethics, everyone is a winner for participating.

Students want a holistic learning experience.

Classes need to include:

– Light physical training
– Emotional counselling
– Life coaching

We are no longer instructors but fitness and nutrition providers, customer service practitioners and marketing specialists.

In a week we deal with more issues than an internet help desk.

Respect.

Students no longer respect their instructor or classmates, they turn up late or just skip lessons completely.

Not fully realising how this impacts learning, they complain when their skills do not improve.

Knowledge doesn’t accept apologies or excuses, that is if you actually offer them.

You were late because of other commitments, but still want your full lesson.

You had an appointed class time and we have other commitments too.

You didn’t come to class because you were too busy.

And yet you expect us to be available when you drop in unannounced because you need someone to talk to.

Only martial art instructors offer 24 hr advice and counselling service, for the payment of a 2 hr class..

As I said at the beginning, this isn’t a rant.

I’m not suggesting you don’t pop in for coffee when passing.

If you need advice, ask, we’d never ignore our students.

We will continue to provide the help and support you need.

Just pay your class fees

Parents haggle over discounts, as if your knowledge is a cheap rug being sold in a Persian market.

You are learning something that will save your life.

Whether that is by reducing the chances of a heart attack or illness through improved fitness or by giving you techniques to survive a violent attack.

Our knowledge is valuable, our teachings have worth.

Late and unpaid fees.

“I can’t pay this week because of your bills..”

That’s ok, just train and we’ll sort it out later. We would rather you continued learning but guess what,?

We have bills too,this is our job.

Most people don’t appreciate the time, effort and sacrifice needed to become a competent instructor.

It isn’t 2 hours, twice a week with a couple of weekends thrown in a year.

Unlike most professions, which needs 3-5 years of higher learning or apprenticeship, it takes decades of dedicated training, both inside and outside of the dojo, to become a good instructor.

The commitment and costs are high.

It has cost thousands of pounds in fees, equipment, travel and accommodation.

None of which was assisted by student loans, grants or apprentice wages. We had to work at another job to fund our learning.

And then there are the lost relationships.

Arguments with loved over time.

Missed family events, parties and funerals.

Missed social events, nights out with friends and date nights.

Missed holidays, saving days off for seminars and gradings.

All sacrificed in search of our knowledge.

And yet we don’t charge you the earth for our services.

We are a dying breed, train with us before we’re gone..

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