Tai chi VS MMA
This is a wonderful demonstration of what I love about martial arts and martial artists.
I was at the Mixed Martial Arts Expo in Toronto and I was scheduled to do a demonstration on Sunday morning and my students who were going to help me out with a demonstration were unable to make it.
The martial arts school in front of me (Lanna MMA and Kickboxing) were doing a demonstration ahead of me and we’re planning to quit when my turn came along and I just said, “I don’t have any students to demonstrate on so you folks may as well just continue with your demonstration.
Their chief instructor said, “Would you liked to to borrow one of my students?”
I said, “That would be very nice of you. Are you sure it’s okay?”
He said, “Sure.” He then pointed to one of his senior students and said, “You are learning tai chi. Get out on the mat.”
Now, I have never trained with this particular club. I’ve seen them do their demonstrations but i’ve never visited the school. I’m not a kick boxer, myself. I didn’t know much about them, and they didn’t know much about me, but they knew enough to respect why I was there and what i was doing.
This is the second demonstration we did that day and this is one of the assistant instructors, I believe, from Lanna MMA.
Look at how good-natured he is, and how very nice and relaxed. He gives a really good honest application and at no point does he let his ego get in the way. At no point did you worry about whether or not he could get my butt. Instead he just makes sure that he gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my skill and without trying too hard too make me look bad. In fact, he makes me look pretty good in some places.
There is something about martial arts in that you find that the more skills that people have and the better they get, and the better the quality of skill which you find at a martial arts studio or martial arts school the nicer the people are. In fact, you can judge the quality of the school’s martial arts by the character of their students and by the personalities of their instructors. Nobody who has anything worth teaching is going to waste their time teaching somebody who isn’t worth it. Nobody is going to waste their time teaching a jerk.
In order to master martial arts, you need to master yourself. This is not just and idealistic principle. This is a very practical thing. Every time there is a thought there is an emotion. Every time there is an emotion there is a physical response. So people who master martial arts have to work through their own stuff. There is no room for fear, hatred, anger, ego or anything on the floor. Everyone has to be paying very close attention to very fine details and constantly respecting their training partner because, if you break your partner you don’t get another one.
So, here is a fine example of what is really obviously a wonderful martial art school. I didn’t know much about them until I did these demonstrations. I had just seen them do their into the demonstrations in the past. When I finally got around to checking out who these people were who very kindly volunteered to help me out with my demonstration, I found out that the chief instructor, Kru Mel Bellissimo, trains in Thailand with a very famous Muay Thai master named, Ajahn Burklerk Pinsinchai. He is referred to as the Muhammed Ali of Muay Thai.
My point is that these very nice people could have shown me up very easily, and i certainly wouldn’t want to get into the ring with any of them. Yet, here you would think that i was some great martial arts master just because of the way that they are helping me out with this demonstration.
So, this bears my point. The better martial arts school – the nicer the people.
The higher the level of skill – the nicer the personalities of the instructors.
I am more interested in gaining the respect of people who can kick my butt than I am in winning the admiration of those who think I could kick theirs.