I have been very fortunate in my career in the martial arts industry. I have been given the opportunity along that journey to run several large international organizations under some of the most renowned instructors in the world. Due to being in that position I am blessed with the opportunity to help other martial artist and striving professional martial artist by coaching or mentoring them as they progress with their business and through their journey in the arts.
I remember as I was coming up, often there were times when you would need to cut back here or there due to the business and its operations. Like everyone else, I had to cut back too but the one thing I absolutely would never skimp on was where and from whom I would receive my education. In other words, I would never choose a lesser instructor based on finances. Regardless of the situation I was in, I would always hustle and work extra hard so I could afford to train with the absolute best. I believe this is important because at this moment a lot of people will think where they're getting their information is not important. But if you look at the long journey, in 10 years, in 20 years, who you’ve become, your skill set and your reputation are all built from the people you mentor and train with.
Why do I write this now? Because this is what I see happening with people that are coming up in the industry now. It is my guess that they believe that information is just information regardless of the source. I am here to tell you after almost 40 years in the martial arts, that is absolutely not the case. I didn’t follow that philosophy and now that I look back on my journey and where I am today, it was one of the best choices I have ever made. And being a perpetual student, I continue to make that choice even now as I journey into new areas of study and advancement.
As I have written in the past, if you are a student of martial arts and if you do not see a school owner or leader of an Academy continually seeking professional growth and continually pursuing training, you are a member of a dead school. I will add to that that if they are not pursuing that education from the absolute best opportunities that are available, that inferior training will also trickle down to your training as a student whether you realize it or not. So, a bit of advice for the instructor out their choosing a source of information. Don’t skimp out. Seek out the best and connect yourself to them. Do your homework and research their lineage and background. And for the student or potential student, don’t settle for an instructor based on convenience. Do your homework as well, look into the background and find out who they trained with and what their lineage is. It will save you a tremendous amount of time and injury on your journey in the arts.