Re: Culture of Martial Mediocrity?
I've got to say that statements like "For those who understand" and "The beginner cannot determine the difference between BS and the good stuff. This thread by the very nature of its core question is designed for experienced students and instructors, not beginners who can't tell the difference." leave a bit of sour taste in my mouth also. I understand (at least I think so) what you are getting on about but the above are often used to hide weak arguments rather than reveal any truth.
Essentially we are responsible for our martial journey. A good teacher provides the framework, nudges you in the right direction if you deviate, and in the process continues on in their own journey. If you feel that anyone of those conditions is not being met then it is time to find another teacher.
Your teacher should never be the sole source of your art. Explore, study, reflect. Ask questions in the right circumstance. If you don't do that then you will always be stuck in the Shi. The individual style (Ha) is a reflection of all your experiences - not just in your home dojo. It is your personality.
Most people can tell relatively soon the difference between the BS and the good stuff. Beginners are generally not mindless cretins. I would say that the more experience you have the more discriminating you are - that's all.
Larry you generally train in isolation. That has the advantage in that you must think about these things vis a vis your students. It also has the disadvantage that sometime you over think. I don't think you are wrong but Mike has a point.