The Future of Your / Our Work as Teachers of the Martial Arts
The Future of Your / Our Work as Teachers of the Martial Arts
This is a piece about where you / we may or should be going, as professional teachers who want to do fun, interesting, and maybe even exciting work –and who would also like to see the work, in general, produce the kind of income that reduces worry, pays the bills plus, and that allows us to live our later-years in some degree of financial comfort.
Step number 1 of living a good / great life is physical health. If you suffer one of the many diseases or ailments of people who don’t stay fit, mobile, and healthy —it doesn’t matter how much wealth you’ve accumulated, your life is going to hell in a hand basket.
You, that is YOU, must not only use your martial arts journey to live a life of Jack LaLanne like fitness, you would do a LOT better in your business, guaranteed, if you look, act, and live the path of fitness over flab, of superior health over the mediocrity of those people who simply don’t have the self-discipline to do what it takes to be a strong and fit specimen of physical health.
The Action Plan? Go thru EVERYTHING it takes to be muscular –over bloated and fat, flexible –over stiff, active –instead of inactive. If you DO go thru EVERYTHING it takes to be one of the super healthy, you will be well-read, well-researched, experienced, and knowledgable –and you will be able to use what you’ve learned to help others.
This is a part of the future of our business: Super Health. If that’s not self-defense in todays world —well, then I don’t know what is.
Food and Food Production
Just in case you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the last few decades, let me remind / inform you: food and food production (yes, where it comes from and how it is grown), IS THE NEW SELF-DEFENSE.
And now, as in RIGHT NOW, you could and should be TEACHING / MENTORING your students and community on how to eat for health and how to support a healthy sustainable food growing system.
Do you do this presently? If so, WHERE –on a scale from 1 to 10? If it’s not an 8 or higher, you can –for now –blame a martial arts educational system, “the industry,” for not having a smart, forward-thinking, substantive training program (of ANY sort) –or ANY smarts –and you can consider yourself a victim of this system.
You should be DIVING head first into everything food, as food is self-defense –and so is where food comes from and how it is produced. The whole system, from top to bottom, is OUR BUSINESS…if our business is personal health, self-defense, wellness, and living the Master’s life.
FIRST ACTION STEP: You should have a DEEP knowledge of every person-of-importance (teacher, farmer, persons-of-interest) who are involved with food education in your community. These people should know you too, because you CHAMPION their work.
If you’re not studying the mindfulness movement, you are missing the big proverbial boat.
Mindfulness, in eating, in relationships, in training, and of course, in LIVING, is our business.
It is what makes a superior warrior –or mom, dad, grocer, teacher, citizen, etc.
If you’re spending more time on Facebook and TV –than you are studying –and practicing –the art of being mindful, you’re NOT helping yourself be the kind of MASTER TEACHER that’s actually a MASTER TEACHER.
Don’t be a fake –or worse, someone who doesn’t have the self-discipline and wisdom to go the extra mile, to actually walk the talk that differentiates those who would “like to” from those who do.
You can’t help others to mastery, if you don’t do what it takes to be mindful of your own work and life (as a living example of what a modern martial arts master does in the world. Hint: It’s not found in being in the “martial arts millionaire’s inner circle” of greed and self-absorption).
Self-Defense, for Real
Our industry hosts the largest group of fakers, posers, half-educated pretenders, and bull-shitters of any industry I’ve ever been exposed to, short of those who work in politics.
Isn’t it time that you had a real, comprehensive, well supported, well thought out self-defense instructional program? A whole bunch of them?
Isn’t it time that your self-defense classes went from teaching people how to block punches –to something more relevant to today? Isn’t it time you actually dealt with self-defense today, by not only addressing the things that actually hurt and kill people today, but with TEACHING tools and resources that show you’re smart, resourceful, and actually a good TEACHER?
The superficial, skin-deep, poorly designed methods most of you use to “teach” self-defense, coupled with an almost complete lack of research and study, make America’s self-defense teachers (us) a joke.
EVERY SINGLE SOUL in your community needs someone, a bunch of someones, to genuinely help them to thrive and survive in today’s rushed, crowded, apathetic, distracted world. Are you ready to take extreme responsibility for being a part of that village? Or are you going to let this grubby, Ma and Pa, red-neck, greed riddled industry of pretenders set-the-bar for your programs?
An Evidence-Based Industry, Not a Promised-Based One
The image above comes from The Pollination Project, which has a project portfolio of more than 1500 ACTUAL DOCUMENTED CASES (read: documented), of how its work has manifested itself in the world. The Pollination Project seed-funds community based projects around the world, to the tune of $1000 a day, every day of the year.
In many ways YOUR SCHOOL is a “pollination project.” No, you don’t give away $1000 a day, but YOU DO SOMETHING for others, do you not? You inspire any number of people to DO THINGS, do you not?
Your work, in one way or another, extends OFF YOUR MATS, does it not?
Well, it should. And part of your work as a master teacher of today, as a person who must promote his or her work in a VERY competitive market (people are competing for the time and resources of members of your community –your potential students) –should be to build a body of actual evidence of how your work affects the community you live and work in.
Translated, this means that you make all kinds of promises, both directly and inferred, about what the martial arts does for someone, yes? So show us the money. Show us by documenting how your work WORKS –and what it does for people and for the community these people live and work in.
If you can’t do this, it’s because you are either not smart enough –or the simple truth is that you’re not doing your best work. Not by a long shot.
The future of your work, of our work, doesn’t reside in teaching the martial arts –as we learned it. It is in making the work more meaningful, important, relevant, and REAL.
Evidence over promises.