Sunday, May 29, 2011

Soul Searching

To start with, you are encouraged to mentally cue up something like the closing theme music from the old Incredible Hulk television series (starring Bill Bixby) to set the appropriate tone for this next series of posts.

Yes, I’ve been doing some ‘Soul Searching’ lately in regards to teaching, learning, students, the role of the teacher etc.

Looking back, I never thought that I would ever be a Guru (teacher) in any of the Southeast Asian martial arts that I have been privileged to study. So many years ago, I remember standing in my own teacher’s yard during training sessions - watching in awe of his skill and the skills of the advanced students - thinking “This is so far beyond me, I’ll probably never really get ‘good’ at this…it would be enough if I could just learn it.” A somewhat defeatist attitude to be sure, but I felt like I was being realistic.

This was about 1987-88, long before Youtube and the Internet, when I still held the outrageous notion that a person would at least have to possess a high level of technical skill and understanding to be awarded a teaching license from a legitimate Master of Kali or Silat. I guess either I was wrong to begin with…or times have changed. Today, you certainly don’t need much in the way of skill and understanding to be granted the title of Guru by some (even legitimate) Masters. In fact, a lot of folks these days just skip that step altogether and award themselves the title of Teacher, Master, or even Grandmaster and go about trolling for students. I guess it’s a variation of “If you build it, they will come”…especially if they don’t know any better.

To be continued...


alla said...

I am most curious to read the continuation of this blog particularly. Although I am fully aware that blogging is not the reason you wake up each morning, if possible, do not make us wait to long for the next post.

Panday said...

Your feelings are like those of a police officer who feels he is trying to stand fast against a tidal wave: things he does are under-appreciated and ultimately doing little to no good.

Yet they still manage to continue. That's because after a while, it becomes about what they, themselves do instead of what kind of large-level change they can actually effect.

Keep up the good work. At the core, no matter what goes on in the rest of the world, you have a core of loyal students who have made extraordinary progression.

guro jeff davidson said...

Be patient!

Don't worry, I've come to an optimistic conclusion! I just have to "set it up" the right way.

FTP said...

@ Jeff
Just call me rather curious, regarding your concluding phrase "To be continued..."

Are you still soul searching or...?

guro jeff davidson said...

FTP...WOW you are the second person today to ask me that question! I promise to update by the end of the weekend. I've just been sooo busy.

Thank you for being patient!

FTP said...

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Dear Mr. Sooooo Busy,

I'm still patiently waiting.



FTP said...

ps How about I'll give you till, well, I'll check back in on Monday. I know how busy life can be, have a great weekend.