View Full Version : a serious question for all

Brandon Fisher
20th May 2006, 06:18
I have a question for everyone. If you have an instructor whether they are asian or not and no matter how loyal or how long you have been with them. Do you do whatever and I mean whatever they say without question? Do you allow them to beat you to the point your body is black from the severe buising and then get up in the morning and thank them for it?

If you have an instructor who is not sensitive to a health problem even if it was something you have had since birth and they tell you to do something but you physically canít do you ask them for help?

Things have happened in the past 24 hours that made me think about this and wonder what others thought.

Chris Brown
20th May 2006, 06:34

Your description of the events is somewhat vague. If possible for you, please go into some more detail.

Some occasional bruising and injuries are to be expected during MA training of almost any stripe, but on the other side of that coin, no student should be subjected to mental or physical abuse at the hands of anyone in a dojo, be they teacher or student. The factual details of how you got the bruising will determine whether or not your injuries and the circumstances under which they were received were reasonable or if they were out of line.

If I may be so bold, would you be so kind as to tell us what your health condition is? How does it affect your ability to train and to perform some techniques, but not others? Was your instructor aware of this condition when you first joined your dojo?

Also, if I may ask, in what style of MA do you train (I'm not familiar with Seijitsu Shin Do, so please explain a little about it to me.), how long have you been training, and how old are you?

Please explain more about these last 24 hours that concern you so much. With the few details you give, it's very hard to answer your questions.

Best Regards,

Brandon Fisher
20th May 2006, 06:57
I was excused from a organziation that I had spent 21 years and 4 months in based on some documents that I was unable to see. I was born totally blind and was blind until I was 3 years old because of a pitched nerve in my neck. I am legally blind and have had the benefit of the Cleveland Sight Center and the Society for the Blind in Indianapolis. My wife who was born with a rare birth defect that was just recently discovered do to her becoming very dizzy very quickly and at anytime. This to was a source of the problem with this person.

The reason I used the beating part is because I was told by a 6th dan tang soo do practioner that there is no "no sir" to senior ranks in the martial arts under any circumstances. He was beaten to the point where his whole chest was black from the bruising and also thrown 10 feet across the room by his instructor. The thing that boggles my mind is he thanked the man for it. He believes that makes him a better martial artist and feels as though by me asking my old instructor for help with these documents that he purposely printed in 8pt font that it was my responsibility to fix it. He said because I didn't do that and I asked for help I am not a true martial artist.

Ok as far as Seijitsu Shin Do. It is a system I founded which was originally created as Tai Shin Jitsu a subsidery of Tai Shin Doh Karate for those that just wanted self defense. When I left the organization I decided to take the kata ciriculum that I had introduced to Tai Shin Doh in 1995 and rename tai shin jitsu. I had created the kata ciriculum because the instructor was claiming that the system was shotokan based yet there was no kata in it. So I learned the differences from the Pinan or the Heian kata and over the years added Bassai Dai, Bassai Sho, Empi, Kanku Dai, Jion, Hangetsu. Before that the Tai Shin Doh system was nothing more then street fighting. Nothing traditional at all even though it was claimed. I had created a complete training manual for the tai shin doh system that included the 50+% additional waza I had added to the ciriculum.

So Seijitsu Shin Do incorporates a complete Ju Jutsu system including defenses from various strikes at different areas of the body. Also defenses from Lapel, Wrist, & Shoulder grabs, chokes of all sorts, hair pulls, arm grabs, ground work, sitting in a chair sitting on the floor, traditional suwari waza, and more. There are more then 400 different waza and variations of waza.

The kata ciriculum is consists of one Kihon kata, 5 Pinans, 3 Naihanchi, Passai Sho, Bassai Dai, Bassai Sho, Jion, Empi, Hangetsu, Kanku Dai, Kusanku Dai. We also practice tameshiwari. The system also has a complete weapons kata ciriculum based on the system theories. Those weapons include Kama, Sai, Bo, Nunchaku, and I am working on adding Nunti Bo, and Eaku.

I hope that clarifies it some. Please excuse any spelling it is 2am here.

Chris Brown
20th May 2006, 07:56

I have to admit that that sounds like an abusive environment on the face of what you have said. It doesn't sound as though being dismissed was actually such a bad thing, save for the time and money invested in your training.

Were it me, I would leave such a situation of my own accord. I mean, when we train at our dojo, sometimes contact results in minor injuries, and that's to be expected. But the "Animal House" style, "Thank you, sir! May I have another?" when you are being taken to that point is a bit off. I would say likewise for the whole "you are a weakling if you ask for help" philosophy. How does asking for help with a task, especially a task that isn't actually the performance of your techniques on the mat reduce your effectiveness and stature as a martial artist? I don't get the logic supposedly at work here.

Based on your description, this places sounds rather cultish. I'd call it good riddance.

Good Luck!

20th May 2006, 08:20
Ellis Amdur wrote a great essay on abuse in martial arts in his book Dueling with O Sensei. Some of his essays in that book are also available online, but I'm not sure if that particular one is.

Martial arts are very vulnerable to abuse because of the special relationship between teachers and students in which students must trust their instructors, having faith in the instructor's good intent, and also because of the violence that is often part and parcel of the training. Still, there is a line between acceptable and unacceptable, a point at which your instructor is not challenging you but taking out his own problems on you. I recommend Amdur's essay as a great place to start exploring that line and deciding where it should be drawn in your life.

Best of luck to you.

Brandon Fisher
20th May 2006, 08:21
That is my feeling. I called my Sensei In Indiana and told him of the new happenings his remarks were similar but not as kind. That man is a Rokudan in Shorin Ryu - Shorinkan and his Sensei learned directly from Nakazato Sensei in Okinawa and has for the past 40 years. Their take on the whole situation is that it is strange at best.

The reason I chose Seijitsu Shin Do (way of the faithful heart) is because of situations like this. I believe in tradition and I believe in the arts evolving to match with modern times but I believe if being faithful to whats right, to yourself and then to others. I believe in living a honest lifestyle and its sad that many can't except truth and they say that to confront anything else then that is not honorable.

Many thanks to you.

Brandon Fisher
20th May 2006, 08:31
Many thanks to you as well.

Joseph Svinth
20th May 2006, 08:35
What you are describing is not uncommon in "traditional" martial arts (e.g., martial arts developed during the 1930s and 1940s that pretend to be older). It's a holdover from the early Showa (e.g., 1928-1945) Japanese Army training methodology, which was subsequently borrowed by some equally fascist postwar Korean martial art practitioners.

Personally, I'd give that kind of stuff a bye. For one thing, stifling the imagination of the juniors ruins a system pretty quickly. More importantly, though, why pay someone a hundred bucks a month for lessons when any corporate job will provide you with physically less painful lessons in the ancient art of a**-kissing?

Brandon Fisher
20th May 2006, 09:39
why pay someone a hundred bucks a month for lessons when any corporate job will provide you with physically less painful lessons in the ancient art of a**-kissing?
I have to remember that comment. Thats a very good point..

I agree when I was with Sensei Ward while living in Indiana I found that the Shorinkan did not have that type of philosophy but truly believed in hard training but not the beating of students. Respect was there because it had been earned not demanded.

Chris Brown
20th May 2006, 09:53
There's an awfully big difference between respect and fear.

20th May 2006, 15:24
I would use "find the doorknob" waza and get out of that school.

I've been bounced off my share of walls, but having to have an "oh goody gumdrops" attitude about it is another matter.

The bit with the 8 point print shows the person who did it to be mean, small-minded, cruel, and stupid. Will using words like "pissant" get me in Hell?

hope not.


Brandon Fisher
20th May 2006, 20:24
Thank you all I feel much better now in knowing I am correct in my decision to not apoligize.

27th May 2006, 22:41
All I can say is the Tang-Soo-Do guy definitely takes his stuff seriously, but he might not completely grasp the idea of doing irreparable damage to you body.

You are completely in the right. In our day and age respect for all, ESPECIALLY those with disabilities, must be maintained.

31st May 2006, 16:32
As a martial artist, a martial arts instructor, and as a man, I have no tolerance for the situation you described, Brandon. You are right - no apology is in order. And, were I in your shoes, I would have a hard time accepting a truly deserved apology from the instructor, too.

I reiterate the points made by many that the martial arts will lend to their fair share of bumps and bruises. But that is far from what you described. It sounds as though this "instructor" has serious issues of insecurity, why else would he physically abuse a blind man? IMO, that's on the same level as kicking babies, or the abuse of women or the elderly. I have words to describe a person that would do this, and "pissant" is nowhere near strong enough.

Good luck with your new style. You are welcome in my organization any day, my friend. And for what it's worth... send your former instructor my way if you get the chance. I will be happy to "take his abuse." Problem is, I might just dish out, too!

Brandon Fisher
31st May 2006, 19:23
He never beat me like that but the guy who said I should apoligize was beaten like that. My instructor popped me a few times that were uncalled for especially that he wore rings like class rings I'd get hit with those rings or kicked in the groin because he missed my stomach. His abuse to me was much more mental then physical, it just took me a lot of years adn this happening for me to realize it. Its true the abused shut out what is happening.

I appreciate your invitation my Aunt and Uncle live outside of Nashville in Cottontown so if I ever make it down there again (been 6 years in September) maybe we can touch base.

1st June 2006, 13:34
I cannot believe what I have just read...

Brandon, you have my absolute and sincere best wishes for your future in MA. It is understood that hard work and tough training can be necessary and there is times when a student needs a push to get them over a hump to th next level of understanding but this is just 100% unaccepable in my eyes.

I have had a re-occuring knee injury since the age of 17, I am currently awaiting an operation at long last to try and find the root cause and fix it. The person that runs the dojo understands my personal situation and me being me I always push myself too hard, he is the one saying 'take it easy Sam, I'd rather you slowed down a bit and continued to train than push too hard and end up injuring yourself to the point where you won't be able to train ever again'. This to me is the way to get not only a good teacher student relationship but also respect.

I suppose my point is this:

Yes he pushes me when necessary... but not to the point of injury

I know that having posted here you will get all the support you deserve, keep up the training and remember MA is also meant to be enjoyed :)

Brandon Fisher
1st June 2006, 20:44
Thank you very much