This post will probably upset a lot of Martial Artist. I’m not sorry.
Within the Martial Arts community there are many types of people. Some have morals and are stand up kind of people and others.......well, not quite so much.
You would think that in a profession where character traits such as honor, integrity, courtesy, perseverance, and an unbreakable spirit are held in such high regard, that you wouldn’t see such Fly-by-night type of people.
In my 35 years of training, I have met, trained and associated with some of the highest quality people on the planet. However, on the flip-side, I have also met, tried to stay away from and been unsuccessful at some point in meeting some of the lowest quality of people on the planet.
1st, ONLY TEACH WHAT YOU KNOW!
Now... you would think this would be common sense. However, in the martial arts community it is very common for instructors to jump on to what ever martial art is HOT at the time. They begin teaching it to their students, generally to make a fast buck. This is utterly ridiculous. Because you are a fluent speaker in Spanish, does not give you the right to teach how to speak German. Even if you perceive the art you want to teach as similar to the art you do know, you cannot just switch the name of the style and claim yourself to be a competent teacher in said style. For example, let’s take the martial art of Muay Thai. Because you have a “Kickboxing” Background does not mean that you start throwing leg kicks, elbows and work on the clinch and you are doing Muay Thai competently. There are so many other factors that go into this very intricate martial art from Thailand. Suffice it to say, kickboxing is not Muay Thai. Although, to the untrained eye from the outside looking in, it looks very similar.
Another example is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Just because you have a background in Japanese Ju-Jutsu (Yes! For exactly my reasoning they are even spell differently) you cannot claim to be a black belt in BJJ. The mechanics of the arts from the outside once again may look similar to the untrained eye. However, they are worlds apart in application and especially training method.
This brings me to the martial artists who practice mixed systems such as KaJuKenBo (a Hawaiian art claiming to be made up of Ka-Karate, Ju-Judo/Jujutsu, Ken- Kenpo, Bo- Chinese boxing) These artists try to lay claim to being able to teach all of those systems individually. While they may have elements of the individuals styles, such as a few throws from Judo, and some joint blocks from Jujutsu, they do not have the complete system and do not share in the same training method as the parent style.
There is nothing wrong with blending styles. However, The instructor should just come out front and say this is the case. Do not try to fool the public into thinking that they can learn a complete syllabus of a style of martial arts in a blended system. The tale tale sign of a poor blended system is when the students go out and try to compete in a pure system competition. An example would be someone of a mixed background, who has some grappling and judo in there style, trying to compete in a pure judo tournament; or someone with a kickboxing background who may fare well in Muay Thai events that are very localized, trying to compete on a national or international level. In both examples, the chances are the person who has not fully been trained in that style will get torn apart. If not by the competition, then buy the judges.
If you want to teach a style of martial art that you are not well-versed in, then take the next 10 years to immerse yourself in said style. There are no shortcuts in the martial arts.
JUST TEACH WHAT YOU ACTUALLY KNOW!!!!