Updated: Sep 7
The whole thing fascinates me. I absolutely understand that being a good instructor doesn’t depend on physique & that communication, connectivity & knowledge are important tools.
What fascinates me is when someone walks into a class for the first time & meets a Beer Bellied Instructor, what about that indicates health, or inspiration? The knowledge has to be so superior that it supersedes the need for fitness & yes, there are loads of styles that are really effective because they work without uber fitness – but to actually have that beer belly as an introduction to those styles? Surely not!
I want a clean living, fit bodied instructor, with a presence of authority & discipline. I want to feel a little in awe, like they’re slightly super human, untouchable, to have an aura that combines strength & humility.
The commercialism of Western Martial Arts doesn’t have to be completely redundant of Eastern magic does it? Surely this element is our special ingredient, which elevates us from other contact sports?
Maybe I’m being too romantic. For me Martial Arts represents such splendour.
Western Martial Arts doesn’t offend me in the slightest; a sloppy standard within our sport is what offends me.
I see no compromise in making a living from this sport; it’s that very element that gives amazing men & women the platform to teach hundreds of people who gain so much from their service, which wouldn’t be possible if they couldn’t make a wage. Again, this doesn’t offend, only dropping standards does.
I actually know Beer Bellied Instructors who are really very good – I just feel that the Santa Claus vibe in this circumstance does potentially look a little sloppy.
Am I asking too much to want Martial Arts to look like what it delivers?
Confident, calm, clean living, elegance. Being flexible, with strength of mind & body. Fearless, humble, champions, understanding reverence, moderation & gratitude.
How does inspiring students to practice practice practise happen when the instructor can’t even see their feet, let alone touch them?
Or maybe I have this entirely wrong & being too hasty in my judgement.
Maybe, the ability to be able to produce amazing technical standards is the actual result of having to tap into incredible teaching skills BECAUSE the inability to do it physically is so impossible…
So, what can we learn from the Beer Bellied Instructor?
Maybe we can learn to refine our communication so significantly that we don’t have to rely on our physicality to teach.
Maybe we can fine tune the art of teaching beyond the art of doing, to translate what we know into what others can do goes beyond our own ability.
Maybe this approach allows us to transcend entirely from ego, transforming teaching truly as a gift to others.
It is a small consideration, an insignificant subject in the grander scale of life, but still, it’s a Beer Bellied Martial Arts Instructor & it does fascinate me…
We are really interested in your thoughts or questions about this, please feel free to leave any comments for discussion.
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