Watching posts from Facebook and Instagram shows that there are a lot of organizations that promote the idea of a martial arts fellowship. The thought here seems to be that there are many independent instructors and schools who would benefit from being part of a group. Whether this is for curriculum acknowledgement or rank promotion opportunities, there is something for everyone who doesn’t have a lineage.
It would stand, then, that these groups promote the idea of training with many other instructors and schools (since politics isn’t involved). My thoughts echo training with many others. It provides great chances to see 1) different thoughts on the same curriculum, 2) performance variations of technique (more precise or adapted), 3) more insights into the why’s and how’s of the techniques. It also goes beyond technique to learn and develop deeper understanding of concepts and strategies. Then again, there may be nothing gained. Regardless, all of this benefits the student in their martial arts journey.
Personally, I want to train and connect with all of the Song Moo Kwan and Haidong Gumdo instructors, masters, and grandmaster that I can. The insights and stories about the curriculum and lineage is definitely something that shouldn’t be lost. The more insights I can understand, the better I am at my art. Most who know me already understand that I’ll train with anyone anytime and anywhere. It IS about the training. This is also the reason why I bring other teachers in for my students to train with. I want them to learn as much as possible. I want the to develop beyond my capabilities.
If we are to represent our arts and truly promote them, then we should be out and about teaching and training. Peers should be supporting and promoting each other for the betterment and growth of the art. If thoughts are otherwise, why are you teaching? Sorry, but if you aren’t looking to do the best for your students, what is your intent? My students have only two guidelines – 1) let me know you’re going to attend an event, 2) bring back notes for the class. I understand business and earning a living but that has nothing to do with promoting your art and your peers (brothers? sisters?). I’ve never understood how other instructors see this as an issue. I see it more like Simon Sinek’s Infinite Game. There are more than enough students out there that WANT me to teach them PLUS many others who want ANOTHER instructor. Get out and grow your art! Grow your school! Support your brothers and sisters! Who are your brothers/sisters? Go help them!