Monday, 21 November 2016

Dealing with martial arts questions during random introductions at social gatherings

Often after some great training I feel the urge to become some kind of training internet evangelist and tell or show everyone how it's done correctly etc. It's natural to feel like this, especially if you google martial arts etc. and watch the YouTube films that pop up. However, as we all know in our group there is but one main rule, well apart from the group health and safety rules which note to clip your nails, look after your training partner and not smell etc.

The main rule is don't show anything to anyone outside the group. Now we make this very clear in my new comer talk right at the start on the first night but it occurred to me today that we all have to interact with other students or teachers from other systems and we never tell you how to deal with the usual questions.


So here is how I deal with those questions. All arts probably have something positive to offer and some are very good, and when people share their stuff with you, you probably feel a bit of git for not showing them something. We also  need to be polite and the main way I answer  people when they ask me want I train in, is to call it Dutch Indonesian tai chi and I state I do it for good health. If they ask what it looks like I say we stand like a tree for two hours a day. Most people wonder off at this point as they get bored.

Demonstrations of skill

If you go to parties and people know you train in something, don’t give demos because there are three possible results or outcomes of the party martial arts demonstration:

1. You get your ass handed to you by some twelve-year-old white sash level girl who has been doing  wing chun once a week for three months.

2. You kill the twelve-year wing chun white sash level girl in your demo and get thrown out of the social gathering.

3. Everything goes swimmingly well, you don’t get beat up, don’t kill anybody and you even pull off that girlfriend pleasing throw that you never pull off in class. The trouble with this result is that we then get plagued by people wanting to join the group and we don’t really have any room. Plus, we have to keep the idiots out, you know the guys who type in CAPITAL letters on the internet forums and always know best or the “true believers” that actually know their instructor lies and probably leant his skills by watching sponge bob on TV but spend their entire day on the internet preaching to everyone about their cult.

So, when asked to give a demonstration of your skills, if you really have to, stand like a tree for twenty minutes. This works but make sure you pee first if you have been drinking.

If people have a genuine interest in training and you feel you want to be extra nice. You may suggest the nearest good training establishment for them to try out. Something healthy like the Straight Blast Gym or another local great instructor etc. You may even like to pop along with them and introduce them.

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