Rabbits, Tigers, and Dragons – The essence of martial arts
People may be surprised to learn I do not lease a large location. In fact, I run a 501 (c) 3 non profit for my instructional classes. It was and is a fair amount of paperwork to organize. However, it allows me to rent really nice training halls in churches and community centers at rock bottom rates. I also teach outdoors, usually with official permission from the relevant city, like San Rafael, Ca. In the 1990’s, I had a 5,000 square foot facility, but not now. By keeping my overhead extremely low, I have the freedom to turn away students I don’t like, or aren’t right for the arts.
There are three main reasons I turn away prospective students. The first is mental illness. Second is overly aggressive, bullying, or thuggish mentality. Third, is lack of morality. This means being a criminal, a lying cheater, or other immoral behavior. As martial artists, good morality also means protecting those weaker than us, especially women and children. Treating all people with kindness and respect is important. When I had a large space, I needed a lot of students to break even, let alone make a profit to support my family. There were times I taught people I didn’t like or had questions about. Now, I am selective.
My Sifu, Wong Jackman was the same way. He taught in churches and community centers, and he refused to teach people he thought questionable. He also threw out people who displayed poor morals. I am not going to list names here, but some of the people he refused to teach, or threw out after their bad character revealed itself, were, and are, prominent in the martial arts world. You’d recognize their names immediately.
It is not possible for me to transform a bad person into a good person.
Only the individual using their free will can change their nature.
I give people tools and methods to make themselves healthy and strong.
Sometimes, I can help a Rabbit turn into a Tiger, or a Tiger turn itself into a spiritual Dragon. To me, this is the essence of martial arts as opposed to military or sport training.
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