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Messages - Mike Brewer

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One last thing here...

I just read Sun Helmet's post, and I have to agree.  Teach your audience - the people who are sitting right there in front of you.  If it's easier for them to understand ancient sanskrit and tagalog, then use those terms.  However, if it's a bunch of english speaking americans, speaking english may well be easier to understand...

I've debated this type of thing at length with a number of folks, including some of my instructors.  I am of the humble opinion that you can go ahead and call a person whatever he or she feels most like being called.  As far as titles or terminology or technique?  It's purely a semantic debate.  

When karate people refer to their techniques by the Japanese name, or they count in japanese, where did they get the habit?  From seeing the way their arts were taught in Japan, right?  Well, guess what?  In Japan, they speak Japanese!  If they spoke enlish, you'd most likely hear them say "One, Two, Three" instead of "Ichi, Ni, San!"

Same with Chinese, Filipino, Malaysian, Indonesian, etc. etc. etc.  If you want to preserve that part of the art for the sake of preserving it, then great.  But terminology is far more important to the scholar than the fighter.  Fighters can plainly see what you're doing, and they care far less what you call it than how well it works.  It might have been a pin choy, a reverse punch, an "elephant's head" (or some other equally cryptic code), or just a simple cross.  In the end, what happened was a guy smacked another guy with the front part of his closed fist and either the fella went down or he didn't.

Same with teachers.  If a teacher asks to be called a certain thing, that's like a name.  But if he or she is relying on the presumed respect of a title like grandmaster-poobah or some such rather than relying on his/her ability to teach?  That's just junk.  The way I see it, those instructors who were most concerned with developing functional fighting ability and being effective teachers generally care the very least about their titles.  Those who are into the arts for personal esteem make it a bigger deal.  I can't remember a time when I heard a decorated soldier demand that civilians refer to them by rank, or a time when someone like muhammad Ali asked that the public please refer to him as the Grandmaster of Boxing.  I'd have to guess that the Filipino greats are much the same way about it.

Just my two cents...


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