Over the years, my martial-arts-passion-turned-vocation has brought me into contact with thousands of members of this community. By far, the majority are wonderful, upstanding people who represent the arts in VWHOODU IDVKLRQ $ IHZ KRZHYHU « ZHOO OHW·V VD\ WKH\ KDYH D ZD\V WR JR to reach that level.
/LVWHG EHORZ DUH WKH WRS HLJKW EHKDYLRUDO TXLUNV RI WKLV PLQRULW\ 1RZ ,·P FRQÀGHQW WKDW QR Black Belt readers would exhibit any of these, but if you know someone who does, consider saying something. Chances are they seem as odd to everybody else as they do to you and me.
6ORZ WDONLQJ OLNH \RX·UH .ZDL &KDQJ &DLQH 6ORZ WDONLQJ E\ LWVHOI LV ÀQH EXW ZKHQ LW·V FRPELQHG ZLWK Kung Fu– esque pauses and gestures, along with occasional feigned ignorance (“What is this … MMA … you speak of?”), it can be too much. I noticed that David Carradine, God rest his soul, sometimes exhibited this behavior in public. Perhaps it was to please his fans, perhaps it was because KH LGHQWLÀHG ZLWK &DLQH D ELW WRR PXFK
• Throwing kicks and punches at family members. The seriousness of this is inversely proportional to the distance separating weapon from victim. My daughter KDV WDNHQ WR D GDLO\ URXWLQH RI ODXQFKLQJ IURQW NLFNV WRZDUG P\ IDFH ZKLOH ,·P ZDWFKLQJ WHOHYLVLRQ 7KDW·V EDG HQRXJK (YHQ ZRUVH LV D ZKLWH EHOW UHODWLYH , VDZ WKURZ D VHULHV RI URXQGKRXVH NLFNV DW WKH EDFN RI KLV PRWKHU ·V KHDG ZKLOH VKH ZDV doing the dishes. Mere inches separated her from injury.
:HDULQJ PDUWLDO DUWV DWWLUH LQ SXEOLF ,·P QRW WDONLQJ DERXW KDYLQJ \RXU NLGV gi up at home before you drive them to the dojo. 7KDW·V ÀQH ,·P UHIHUULQJ VSHFLÀFDOO\ WR D JX\ , NQHZ LQ WKH $UP\ +H·G KHDG RXW WR WKH YLOOH ³ LQ $UP\ VSHDN WKDW PHDQV \RX·UH JRLQJ GULQNLQJ ³ ZHDULQJ MHDQV DQG D taekwondo WRS *RW LQWR D ÀJKW RQFH because of it, too.
• Warning people that your hands are registered as deadly weapons. Doing it in jest is one thing. Doing it for real makes us all look bad because a) yours probably DUHQ·W DQG E QR RQH KDV HYHU KDG WR GR WKDW
• Carrying a nunchaku RU D À[HG EODGH NQLIH WXFNHG LQVLGH \RXU EHOW DW WKH VPDOO RI \RXU EDFN ,·YH VHHQ SHRSOH GR ERWK 2QH PDQ VKRZHG XS IRU D Black Belt photo VKRRW WKDW ZD\ ,·P QRW VXUH DQ\ RI WKRVH JX\V NQHZ DQ\WKLQJ DERXW ODZV SHUWDLQLQJ to concealed weapons.
• Interjecting in any conversation about a well-known traditional martial artist a VWDWHPHQW WR WKH HIIHFW RI ´, EHW >LQVHUW 8)& FKDPS·V QDPH@ ZRXOG NLFN KLV DVV LQ DQ 00$ ÀJKW μ 5HDO PDUWLDO DUWLVWV NQRZ WKDW WKHUH·V VR PXFK PRUH WR WKH DUWV WKDQ ULQJ ÀJKWLQJ 1RWH P\ XVH RI WKH ZRUG ´UHDO μ
• Asking your friends, “Do you think I could punch through that wall?” Maybe \RX FRXOG PD\EH \RX FRXOGQ·W <RX FRXOGQ·W -XVW ZRQGHULQJ RXW ORXG DERXW WKDW makes you look weird in the eyes of those you hang out with.
5HSO\LQJ WR %ODFN %HOW·V social media posts with claims that your art is superior to all others. To be honest, I thought people stopped doing that years ago. Now I ÀQG P\VHOI ZLVKLQJ WKH\·G VWRS QRZ $V ZH NQRZ DOO DUWV DUH JRRG DV ORQJ DV WKH SUDFWLWLRQHU GHULYHV D EHQHÀW IURP WUDLQLQJ