David Valadez wrote:
"To do this we, as instructors, will have to work together rather than compete with each other. We need to support each other and collectively work out the best way to pass on our experience to the next generation."
I can see how that makes sense. But from another point of view, don't most things survive just fine through competition and/or other forms of antagonism - especially things that are large and dynamic? Sure, things may not survive the way we would like them too, but don't things still press on? Contrarily, whereas sometimes, when a "cooperation" is imposed upon something, some very important things tend to get lost. For example, communisim in economic models and/or species introduction in various habitats, etc. I know this is way out there, and maybe isn't related all that much to what you wrote, but maybe you can talk about how much impact a loss of cooperation can really have on something that is so marked by individuality, contrast, and other things of specificity, etc., because, for me, the negative effects of antagonism (as they pertain to transmission) are not all that clear.
thanks in advance,
I am not talking about the type of so-called "cooperation" which might be imposed by an organization or a style in which the talents and ideas of the individual get subsumed by the need to put forth a unified plan of some sort. I am actually talking about the opposite approach. Individuals can support each other precisely because they are different. I bring in teachers to me dojo who can offer alternative approaches to what we normally do. The teacher is supported and we grow. They in turn do the same thing with me. I am supported and their students benefit from my knowledge. This makes much more sense than squeezing people into a box so that they all are on some "same page" as far as technique and no one can grow outside that box without running afoul of the "style police".
While I don't think there is anything wrong with competition per se, I do think that for most of us as teachers things are fairly precarious. I can't teach in a vacuum. If no one invites me to teach at their dojo or I am not asked to instruct at summer camp or winter camp, then I am limited to my own small dojo and the number of people I can reach is therefore very small. But if I get those invitations I can have a positive effect on many people over time. I in turn do the same thing by inviting instructors with whom I am impressed to my dojo. I also do what I can to tell others about teachers who I think "have the juice" so to speak. So I think that instructors do better in a symbiotic type arrangement rather than a competitive one. We all benefit when we support each other.
However, no matter how much mutual support one gets and gives the bottom line is still on the mat. If I teach a seminar or work with people at a camp, I have to be able to give people instruction that will be meaningful to them. If I can't help them, if they don't get something out of training with me then I am done as a teacher. That's where the rubber meets the road. We are not competing with each other we are competing with ourselves to be as good as we can be.