Author Topic: What Makes a Martial Artist?  (Read 2766 times)

Offline Ron Baker

  • BlackBelt
  • Brown Belt
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
What Makes a Martial Artist?
« on: April 19, 2005, 11:03:01 AM »
Realizing, understanding and appreciating all of our Kaju genealogy, I'd like to ponder something out loud.  Nothing pointed.  No reading between the lines necessary.  Just an off-the-wall kinda question.

At what point does one make the transformation from a martial student to a martial artist?   Did Picasso become the artist he was upon the blessings of another?  Did Mozart go up for promotion before he shared his symphonic genius?  Who taught Prince to master 20 instruments? 

In other words, what makes a martial artist: abilities and talent or teaching and regimine?
Sigung (Shihan) Ron Baker
Kajukenbo 5280 MMA Foundation
Under GM Jason Groff
Ordonez Kajukenbo Ohana

Offline dastars

  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
  • Captain Law School
Re: What Makes a Martial Artist?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2005, 11:37:10 AM »
I don't think the two are exclusive; I would like to think that no matter how recognized or accomplished a person becomes, they are always learning.  With 'artists' such as the ones you mentioned, the recognition of their genius is largely external - the reviews, popularity, etc. of the society.  I imagine that on the inside, they believed they were still learning, striving and exploring as students.  There's definately some people who intuitively grasp anything, martial arts being no exception, but even the greatest prodigy still requires training.  I'd say success requires all of what you mentioned - some will just have better starting ability, or better teaching, but in the end, all are required.

Now, what may be a more intricate question is when does a martial student become a martial instructor; surely anyone can teach someone the rote mechanics of a technique, but is there more to instruction?  What is teaching, vis-a-vis the martial arts?  That, I think, is the trickier question... though I'm in a philosophical mood today, so perhaps I'm over-thinking again :)
Geoff Hurd - Student of Professor Walt Andrae (SGM Halbuna) - Augusta, GA

University of Pittsburgh Kajukenbo

Offline Ron Baker

  • BlackBelt
  • Brown Belt
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
Re: What Makes a Martial Artist?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2005, 12:16:23 PM »
Now, what may be a more intricate question is when does a martial student become a martial instructor; surely anyone can teach someone the rote mechanics of a technique, but is there more to instruction?  What is teaching, vis-a-vis the martial arts?  That, I think, is the trickier question... though I'm in a philosophical mood today, so perhaps I'm over-thinking again :)
I'm thinking that a martial student becomes a martial instructor in much the same way that a high school student becomes a high school teacher.  Go through the classes; graduate; teach students. 

I heard it said (Bam  ;)) that a true artist doesn't paint the same portrait over and over.  One has to be prepared, then, to teach the true martial artist
Sigung (Shihan) Ron Baker
Kajukenbo 5280 MMA Foundation
Under GM Jason Groff
Ordonez Kajukenbo Ohana

Offline Wado

  • BlackBelt
  • Brown Belt
  • ****
  • Posts: 529
  • llama llama
Re: What Makes a Martial Artist?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2005, 04:17:41 PM »
I'm thinking that a martial student becomes a martial instructor in much the same way that a high school student becomes a high school teacher.  Go through the classes; graduate; teach students. 


That may describe how one becomes qualified to become an instructor, but to actually become an instructor is like getting a job. You have to interview for the job, there needs to be a job opening or you need to create the job opening, and you need to get selected and accept the job.

Anyway, being an instructor is like a job. If you aren't qualified, you either won't get the job or you will not do well at the job should you get it.

Quote
At what point does one make the transformation from a martial student to a martial artist?


I don't believe there is a transformation. Martial artists are students too.

IMO, it is more about priorities. For instance, a mark of a martial artist is...

1) When one does not care as much anymore about what others think of them and instead cares more about improving themselves to be the best they can.

2) When one does not care as much about being just like someone else, but instead has the courage to be themselves learning and testing their own strengths and weaknesses.

3) When rank is not as important as a measure of one's worth, but instead as a sign of hardwork and training.

4) When ego is not as important as continuing to train and live martial arts.

IMO, it is about what priorities people have and follow-through on that differentiates someone just in it for the ride and someone in it for the thick and thin. Some would say it is all about commitment.  ;)
W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

Offline sifutimg

  • Senior Black Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
  • Iron sharpens iron-so another man sharpens another
Re: What Makes a Martial Artist?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2005, 07:01:14 PM »
What my experience has been in training and coupled with watching the experience of others in their training and to try and humbly answer the first question, it's when one has the internal desire and strives to understand the integration of the mind, body, and spirit working together fluidly then discovering how that further integrates into our daily lives.  Many folks who begin their training only treat it in a hobby fashion.

The artist's mentioned by backfist I believe ate, slept, and sh$# what they did and it was very much a part of everything they did, everything they thought, and ultimately, in their reflection to the universe, everything they were.  I bet that sounds like several folks here.

How many of us incorporate our training into our daily lives?  I would say most of us that have put in the years and to the point do it both consciously and unconsciously as it relates to the choices that are presented everyday to us.  I think certain changes can take you by surprise sometimes and when you step back and audit yourself in relation to just how much the martial arts influences our daily lives, one can plainly see or discern where they are at in relation to the first question "At what point does one make the transformation from a martial student to a martial artist?".  I would also agree with Wado as to it's not so much a transformation it just kind of happens as I have always felt like a student.  The priorities become a very powerful way of "being" when you tie it together with realization and awareness.  Just my 2-cents.

Respectfully,
Tim
Grandmaster Tim Gagnier
Student of Great Grandmaster Charles Gaylord & Grandmaster Sid Lopez
Chief Instructor Pacific Wind Kajukenbo
Student Forever
Yamhill, Oregon

Offline supertim2003

  • BlackBelt
  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
  • "That's going to leave a mark"
Re: What Makes a Martial Artist?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2005, 12:30:06 AM »
Its kind of funny this topic came up, it was similar to a question I had on my written exam for Brown sash.  My Sifu believes that the transformation usually occurs between Brown and Black, (but I am sure it would vary a little from student to student).  His reasoning was that he felt it was around this point in your training where you become fully engaged in martial arts.   A martial artist is someone who would train no matter what or where or with whom.  If I moved away from this school I would continue training (hopefully Kajukenbo), but if it wasn't available I would train in something else, IMHO it is this attitude that certainly contributes at least one aspect of becoming a martial artist.
Tim Morrow 1st Degree Black Sash Kajukenbo Tum Pai

Offline Ron Baker

  • BlackBelt
  • Brown Belt
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
Re: What Makes a Martial Artist?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2005, 01:59:16 PM »
Both Tims made some great points.  And it made me think about God-given talent and the inspiration of teaching.  Did Phil Jackson actually coach Michael Jordan, or did Michael allow himself to be coached?  Could Michael Jordan get a coaching job tomorrow?  Sure.  His abilities and talents give him the credibility and benefit of any doubt.   But I have to wonder whether Michael Jordan could--or should--coach a LeBron James.  In a sense, it's the artist coaching the artist. 

Does the sifu produce the martial artist, or does the martial artist allow him/herself to be "produced". 

OK, I'm getting kinda out there.  Somebody tell me if I'm making any sense.
Sigung (Shihan) Ron Baker
Kajukenbo 5280 MMA Foundation
Under GM Jason Groff
Ordonez Kajukenbo Ohana