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Old 03-21-2007, 10:27 AM   #89
Budd's Avatar
Dojo: Taikyoku Budo - NY, MD
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 932
Re: Shihan vs Fighters

Kevin, I think you touched on something important with "Personal Responsibility". A couple of other things I'll add to that are "Belief Systems" and "Belonging/Entitlement".

Personal Responsibility - A lot of people seem to think that if they pay their fees and show up, they'll get what they're looking for. Although, to be fair, aptitude, commitment and priorities are going to play a part in this one as well, but where this breaks down is that people can make "assumptions" about what they're doing without critically scrutinizing their progress. This feeds into the next thing . . .

Belief Systems - People attach worth to things that are important to them. E.G. I want to learn to defend myself without harming my attacker. Some aikido schools say they train to teach this. I train at one of these schools, therefore I am training (or expect someday) to be able to do this. Does this seem like a logical progression of thought? Does it stand up to logical scrutiny? What other criteria might be important to examine support this conclusion? Could you outline a similar set of logical fallacy progressions to apply to those espousing the "internal" and/or "mma" - only - approach? What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that "Belief Systems" are inevitable, but it's worth taking them out of the box, shining them and viewing them under a microscope from time to time to make sure your mint-condition Amazing Fantasy # 15 isn't just a reproduction that was pre-packaged in last year's Cheerios box. Though the ones that mistake the former for the latter may then find themselves with an inflated sense of . . .

Belonging/Entitlement - To some folks, since they've been able to socialize, it's been very important to them to belong to the "Cool Kids Klub". Whether it's the Aikido Dojo that has the largest collection of O-Sensei's handkerchiefs, the MMA gym that is currently most en vogue (though, I want to go visit Team Quest, Jackson's, Miletich and American Top Team before I die), the students of the guy that can whup everyone with their "ki" or the most respected posters of a particular message board -- some people find a great deal of value in "Belonging". In some social instances, this is empowering, but there's often some negatives that manifest as "Entitlement" and subsequent dismissal of the outgroup. This type of stuff can be observed in lots of clan-based environments, but boils down to individuals that think they are worth a damn because of who their teachers/buddies are, rather than their own merits.

What does this have to do with training? These things are worth keeping in mind as you put in the years training at the activities you're pursuing to meet your goals. I also think that sometimes the above things are mistakenly viewed as benchmarks/goals in training, rather than checkpoints that should be monitored. Of course, all this is simply based on my own experiences/years in training and the mistakes and missteps I've made along the way (more to come, I'm sure ).
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