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  • Is lineage important?

    Yar! 'tis a question that has been rolling through my head for quite some time. I pose the same question to all of you. Is the lineage of a teacher important? or are the teacher's capacities at teaching? or Is it a mix of both? This topic has been touched on here and there but never directly addressed (pls correct me if I'm wrong by posting a link to the corresponding thread).

    This has sort of hindered my training recently. I wont get into details but I have a pretty traditional teacher (only teaches a few students, never tells things too plainly, etc.). Well he's the most "traditional" I have come across and these days that's not very traditional. It's hard for me to understand why sometimes. He won't share certain information. Or he's says one thing one day and then says the opposite the other. Sometimes it makes sense, when i figure it out. Other times, I'm like "what the **** is this bullshit?!".

    Anytaint, please vote and share your experiences and enlighten us all.
    17
    **** Yeah! It's all about where you came from.
    23.53%
    4
    Hell Nah! Let my fists speak for themselves.
    23.53%
    4
    There is a middle path
    52.94%
    9

    The poll is expired.

    "What is barely legal?" - Ali G

  • #2
    Originally posted by tetsumaru
    He won't share certain information. Or he's says one thing one day and then says the opposite the other. Sometimes it makes sense, when i figure it out. Other times, I'm like "what the **** is this bullshit?!".
    Sounds like either a bad memory, or bullshit. Don't feel bad, you're not alone. I find this all the time with Las Vegas women.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

    (more comments in my User Profile)
    russbo.com


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    • #3
      yeah lineage is important, all western religion , Christianity, Judaism and Islam can all trace our lineage back to Abraham yet we still kill each other over our differences....

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      • #4
        Excellent point. It really is all most ludicrous, isn't it. Which is why personally, I find Buddhism to be far more, well, "relevant" as I get older. And supposedly more wiser.
        Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

        "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

        (more comments in my User Profile)
        russbo.com


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        • #5
          The point of the above is that if you think about it, we are all related at some point in the distant past even if that is ten of thousands of years ago. And in the Eons of human exisitance great things have been accomplished by many different men. for each of them it was their own individual walk through life that brought them to prominence. For instance what if Bruce Lee had trained under some guy named Billy Bob...would any of us know who Yip Man was? maybe, but i bet he wouldn't be as famous...would Hung Gar be as big as it is if it hadn't had ties to Wong fei Hong and the Ten Tigers of Lantun, would we know DAMO without Shaolin? would Robert Johnson have faded into obscurity if not for Eric Clapton? Greatness is in the practioner and not in the exercise. The techniques we practice were all efective for certain types of combat relative to the period in which they were developed and by the people which implemented them. of course their history is relevent but it is not what makes a particular person excel.

          So we need the past to know how we got to where we are today, as a reference to our history and it successes and failures there is a lot to learn from. But consider the defining moment when as an individual you have mastered any technique, as soon as you have done that it becomes yours adn exists outside of its history. Studying a new animal form is a lot like learning a new trick on a skateboard, there is a threshhold that you cross when you fully own a trick. That threshhold may have been crossed a million times before you crossed it, but everytime a new person crosses it there is another new begining, and who knows where that person will take it.

          Consider your lineage only in how it is relative to your own understanding and experience. Be thankful for the knowledge that has past through generations to be handed to you but realize it's up to you to do something with it and to pass it along to others as you see fit.


          Not get too deep, but it's kind of a question that begs for some mombo jumbo... LOL

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          • #6
            Excellent point. It really is all most ludicrous, isn't it. Which is why personally, I find Buddhism to be far more, well, "relevant" as I get older. And supposedly more wiser.
            true, me too

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            • #7
              Lineage is a tool, and it has it's place. For instance, if you want to know what someone's lineage is, and they give you all this Bruce Lee and Damo bullshit, or dodge the question all together, then it's probably time to leave.

              But if you have time and the patience, you can stick around to see if they know what they are talking about.

              My preference would be the latter rather than the former, so I'd take teaching ability over bragging ability. If some TKD McDojo can turn me into the greatest fighter in the world, I'd take it over a family tree, easily.
              Becoming what I've dreamed about.

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              • #8
                would Robert Johnson have faded into obscurity if not for Eric Clapton?
                Well the answer to that one is almost certainly "no". Between Johnson and Clapton there was a whole generation of blues musicians who had their own profound effect on the American music scene. Since every one of those, and the musicians they inspired, would usually bring up Robert Johnson within 10 minutes of conversation (if not sooner), it's safe to say he wasn't ever in danger of fading into obscurity.

                Now, what really made Johnson special wasn't his playing but the fact that he was one of the first to record his music and have it widely distributed. So if it weren't for early audio recording, we probably never would have heard of him. Clapton, not so much.

                ....This isn't the topic of the thread, is it.
                Last edited by zachsan; 12-01-2006, 08:27 PM.

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                • #9
                  yes, you are undoubtedly correct. I was just trying to make a connection between past and present in terms of personal interpretation.

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                  • #10
                    The only problem with lineage, is that people rewrite it.

                    There ia a major martial arts school in America which appears to have done just that. If you look at their current web site, and, their instructional manual from twenty years ago, there is a distinct difference...

                    Also, looking at Xingwei's current website would reveal some interesting "deletions" in his so called "lineage". But, that's another thread. Maybe in which we can talk about the concept of honor.And betrayal.
                    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                    (more comments in my User Profile)
                    russbo.com


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                    • #11
                      Yes honor and/or betrayal...this is my next step in the conversation. Loyalty is all but gone in this world. Most are only loyal to the alluring green paper we use as currency. A price can be put on almost anything these days. Watch any reality show on TV for an example of this. In terms of martial arts, loyalty between the teacher and his/her students and conversely the students with their teacher, is there sometimes and often in an odd way today. I can't hop in a time travelling machine and see how it was way back when but I'm guessing it wasn't quite like it is today. Where students pay there monthly tuition and pay for the next belt ranking. I'm using the stereotypes to get my general point across that there is no deep meaningful relationship that the teachers and students share. It more of a relationship based upon $. I think there should be a honorable and respectful student/master relationship. Not in the "bow to you sensei!" type of way.....i'm losing my train of thought here....there should be more thought when joining a martial arts club or group or school. Obviously, people are joining to better themselves (whether they admit it or not) and they should be thankful if there is a sincere individual who will help them on the path.

                      I say this because I see a LOT of people jumping around from teacher to teacher learning a bit here and there and then eventually opening up their own school saying they teach all of the things that they did not really learn. This is destroying martial arts...all of them. We should, of course, respect the few people who have trained in and become very proficient in a few martial arts but there are very few of these people in the world. Really examine what you are learning. Don't just blow through it like a yellow light. Pay attention to what the teacher is teaching. And again this is where the question of lineage comes in...are the people who taught your teacher the kind of people you want to represent and carry on the traditions they have passed down. Really ****ing learn what is taught. Don't piss on the traditions that some worked so hard to pass on.

                      There's more to this...please fill in any blanks I may have left out. and VOTE!
                      "What is barely legal?" - Ali G

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by doc
                        The only problem with lineage, is that people rewrite it.

                        There ia a major martial arts school in America which appears to have done just that. If you look at their current web site, and, their instructional manual from twenty years ago, there is a distinct difference...

                        Also, looking at Xingwei's current website would reveal some interesting "deletions" in his so called "lineage". But, that's another thread. Maybe in which we can talk about the concept of honor.And betrayal.
                        I agree. I was in a TKD school for awhile & the Master would make all kinds of outrageous claims. I left very quickly. I think lineage is used alot of the time for credibility. If it sounds better, more students. As we all know more students equates to more money. Is it ll based on money? I didn't join my current school based on lineage, but on the instruction & instructors (their level of intensity & training).

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                        • #13
                          Not that this is really lineage related, but... When I was around 8 or 9 I started at Kim's Karate ! My master was a white guy, Master Steve. (that should tell you something right there) I thought he was great, but in retrospect I see he was lame ! A joke...

                          Years later I began to study under Joon Saeng Yoo, a well know Tae Kwon Do, Hap Ki Do, and Gong Fu instructor from Alexandria VA.,,, yeah, I know,, All Three ??? It's complicated, a Korean Gong Fu master that teaches his native styles as well (or Tae Kwon Do master that teaches foreign styles).... Anyway,

                          When he asked where I had studied Tae Kwon Do (Kim's Karate was a Karate school under the Korean Tae Kwon Do Federation) and I told him, Kim's Karate, He just laughed.. And I mean he really laughed !!!!

                          I like and respect the idea of lineage, but as long as your master is true to his style and doesn't water it down or change it for any impractical reasons. As long as he / she understands the theory and is obviously serious about the art, then hell yeah, they are someone worth learing from in my book !

                          Master Steve had watered down his version of Tae Kwon do where as Joon Saeng Yoo has his student's hold excruciating positions for minutes on end and screams at them when they can't take it. He's not exactly a small Korean either. Kinda scary all in all ! Especialy when he's telling how much of a piece of sh** you are for not being able to hold a side kick for 3 miutes !!!

                          Not that I got yelled at. I'm totally studly and could hold a side kick all day !!! Yeah right ! Seriously, It's scarry to have a 200 lb, 5'8" Korean kick you in the back and yell at you in Korean as you lie on the groud, grasping your thigh, cringing in pain !
                          "Winners turn to losers, losers are forgotten..." - A Tribe Called Quest

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                          • #14
                            try a 200 pound korean woman...lol
                            ZhongwenMovies.com

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                            • #15
                              I have never picked a teacher for their lineage. Although I do think it is neat to be able to know where the art came from and how it evolved and the people who influenced it. Should lineage be the be all end all of why you join a particular school or teacher? I don't think so. I think if the teacher has the skill to both apply and teach the art, that should be good enough.

                              kunoichi

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