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Upstanding Dragon
10-02-2003, 03:09 PM
Hello all!

Just read the Stan Pranin interview, really enjoyed it :)

Another thing is that, frankly, being an instructor of martial arts is not regarded very highly socially in Japan. If you were a father and your daughter was going to get married to a man who ran a dojo, you probably would not, at first blush, be delighted with that prospect. I'm not saying that it's regarded poorly, but it's not like being an engineer in a company or being a translator or something of high social status.

Can anyone explain further, why this is so?

Although Japanese society isn't particularly voilent, as Stan mentioned, however Japan has such a rich history of martial art, and Sumo being the national sport, I would have expected a martial arts instructor would be regarded highly, socially.

Thanks, best wishes!


Ellis Amdur
10-02-2003, 07:15 PM
1) A martial arts instructor is regarded, generally, as a physical education instructor who isn't even hired by a school. Sort of like your local kiddie gymnastics coach. Modern martial arts are not linked very closely in most people's minds with old samurai arts - and those who practice those are eccentric curiosities to most.

2) For many Japanese martial arts are associated with far- right wing politics. The image of sword training is associated with beheading tied up Chinese and other captive populations

3) For many others, the judo or kendo coach in school was the drill sergeant who screamed at them how they weren't being properly manly enough. Martial arts in school was like a compulsory gym class in football. "Root hog and die! Go and git sum." In Japanese, "Osu. Shikari shiro! Gambare! Moo Ikkai! Dame, Dame, Dame. Koshi haite. Bakayaro. Omae wa otoko ka? Nani besso besso naiteru no? EHH?"

4) Full time instructors make a lousy living

5) Many full-time instructors found the career "early," and did not pursue much in the way of higher education. Therefore, often regarded as uncultured.

6) The association with bushi is close to claiming lineage from the Earl of something or other. Ancient history little relevant to modern life.

7) Sumo are the human equivalent of Strasborg Geese to many Japanese. Few have much education at all. They are entertainment on the hoof, so to speak, indentured in their teens to a gym (called a stable, by the way).

And that's just for starters.


Ellis Amdur