Sinclair Martial Arts

Healing Exercise and Martial Arts
• Tai chi • Qigong • Kungfu • Practical Self defence

I have no competition.

I have no competition.

There are other tai chi teachers in my neighbourhood, and there are several other martial art teachers. Some do the same or similar style as I do. But we are not in competition with each other.

I look at it like this:
The more that people teach and promote martial arts, the more people there will be doing martial arts. The benefits of martial arts are so broad and deep that we should be as much in demand as doctors. The more the public is educated about the vast benefits of the various styles, the greater the demand will become.

Not ever teacher is right for every student, and not every student is right for every school. So, many teachers are required to offer the range of choice and opportunity to promote the art. If the only local grocery store only stocks one kind of vegetable, then there will be some people who just won't like vegetables. But if there is a wide variety of vegetables from which to choose, more people will add vegetables to their shopping lists. If there is only one school in town, then whenever a potential student visits that school and doesn't find it to be a good fit for them, that person may be turned off of the art forever. But when there are several teachers, the depth and breadth of the art is more obvious, and students are more likely to find schools that will improve their lives. Even having two teachers offering the same style is not a problem for me, because we don't all attract the same kinds of students. For instance, I seldom teach children. Honestly, they scare me.

"My, uh, studies establish without a shadow of a doubt, that children are, by adult standards, insane. And more than a little immature!" - Dr. Munroe, WKRP in Cincinnati. S1E6

I have successfully taught kids as young as six. But I prefer to send them to schools with organized kids programs. There have been exceptions, when there was a specific skill set that they needed, or the student was a particularly good fit more my teaching style. I have taught boys ad girls to defend themselves, I've helped some to develop self control, to gain self confidence, and to find peace of mind in their tormented lives. I have even taught one 9-year-old to non-violently deal with physical and emotional outbursts from his 6-year-old brother. There are few things more rewarding than the gratitude of parents when they tell me that there is finally peace in their home. But my successes are largely due to my decision to recognize my limits, and my willingness to send students to other teachers. In spite of my successes, I prefer kids to be at least 9, or 12, or 18…or even 30, before they train with me. But some of the exceptions I have made have been glorious successes, while others have been glorious disasters. (No refunds, sorry.)

I send adults to other teachers, too. It is best for all of us if students find the right teacher for each of them.
Martial art teachers are a unique and poorly understood breed. You might be amazed at how well we get along.

I cannot delude myself into believing that that I am any better than any other teachers. There is far too much evidence to the contrary. But I have some unique skills that other teachers appreciate. Many of my students are instructors or black belts from other styles. Some come from around the world to train here, even though I would be a white belt in their schools.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunity to train with other experienced teachers is an opportunity that most of us jump at when we get the chance.

Sure, a part of me feels a little uneasy when I learn about another teacher opening a school in my neighbourhood. 40 years in martial arts does not lessen my insecurities. In fact, the more I improve, the better everyone else seems to get. But mostly, when a new teacher opens up shop nearby I think, "YES! I'm not the only freak who believes he can make a living at this."

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