Re: Politics, the Death of Martial Arts?
Politics has watered down many systems. The public has changed as the schools have changed too. Here in the US I don' t think you can push students to the brink the way my Kaj sigun used to. He is a first generation student of Professor Emperado. His classes are not the grinders they were years ago. I remember leaving bumped and bruised and barely able to walk the next day. I was actually afraid of going back last year. I think Sigun likes having me back, bringing some of the old school back.
In a time where schools are competing for students, why would you maintain a class that was physically demanding to the point of failure, when the public wants as easy as possible. Add to that, the fact that the techniques that are high percentage effective, are usually the ugly ducklings or plain, and the low percentage techniques are the flashy ones that look cool in movies, and you have an environment where, in order to keep students coming through the door, you spend more time selling yourself than teaching grounded techniques, which are almost universal across many systems, and for the most part boring. Look at Aikido. How many are super excited, to work on Ikkyo, when they could be practicing Irimi Nage? Since, all other techniques, can be got from Ikkyo, wouldn't Ikkyo seem the most practical thing to practice? Yet, if given a choice, most Aikidoka would rather practice Irimi Nage, because it is flashier and Seagal makes it look cool in movies. I have seen this in Kaj too where the earlier learned techniques never really improve. They stagnate as the requirements are learned for promotion. The technique is technically correct, but the practicality of actual application is never obtained. The usefulness plateaus as it is no longer practiced for the sake of learning the new material.
So what we have is a student pool that wants quick rewards with little effort, and organizations, transforming to meet that need. Like when people hear I train in Aikido, and they tell me of a brother or cousin who has been training for a year or two and is a Shodan.