Racism in Martial arts : Asian vs Caucasian instructors

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by matutor, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    I chalk this up to the fact that ethnicity = skill is basically true for an art which is still initially confined to its place of origin. For example if I wanted to go learn kalaripayattu, pelwani, or gatka, my chances of finding a good non-Indian instructor in those arts is significantly less than my chances of finding a good Indian instructor in any of those those arts because they don't have the international spread.

    After it spreads out enough it really doesn't matter any more.
  2. Little Robin

    Little Robin Valued Member

    Those who have been around martial arts for a while learn that race has nothing to do with anything - it's how well you train in conjunction with how well your instructor teaches.

    That being said I do have a story about being discriminated against for being caucasian. Here goes:

    About 15 years ago I moved back to the town where I went to university. Luckily now they had a campus Hapkido club. It was a good sized, vibrant club ran by a female instructor (who happened to be caucasian also). She was the student of a Korean Master who taught elsewhere and basically showed up just for testing. So, at the end of the term she announced that she was going on a maternity leave for the next year. It was a "student run" club so it was up to them to choose a new instructor. I made my pitch to the student executive for the role. Later I overheard another black belt convincing the president to be sure to choose an Asian instructor. For that reason - or for an other perhaps I don't know - I didn't get the role. I didn't press for an explanation I just bowed out, but I was left with the strong impression it was due to my race.

    Several years later I went back and they were mostly all new people. They were happy to have me and in a very short time became the head instructor. Funny thing the same person who advocated for an Asian instructor years earlier commented very favourably on my skill set and instruction style, comparing it that of his own Korean master. Funny how things go!
  3. huoxingyang

    huoxingyang Valued Member

    A conversation I had yesterday reminded me of this thread. The general conversation was about how I am not a fan of martial arts classes which are too strict in their approach to discipline (thinking about Karate and TKD classes) and that, as an adult I don't consider going to a class to be shouted and barked at as either fun or necessary. Somehow, the counter argument came down to "white people are lazy and could do with that style of training" and I basically gave up when I was told that "Asians are inherently less lazy than Europeans". :bang:
  4. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    The shout-out-the-numbers-while-standing-in-line style of martial arts training comes from aping Western military drill in the 1930s, so that's a particularly bizarre idea.
  5. khuang85

    khuang85 New Member

    My instructor was trained by the founder of modern Tang Soo Do and is widely well known and respected that he is in the Black Belt Hall of Fame. He isn't Asian either.
  6. Blink

    Blink New Member

    I don't know anyone who was disappointed to find out that a karate school wasn't run by a 90 year old Japanese guy with a long beard. Not that you'd find many of them around here anyway.
  7. combatarts

    combatarts Valued Member

    Just walk into the dojo and challenge the master to a fight, then you know if he is legit :D
  8. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Last time I saw that happen I had to pause the DVD so I could get another beer.

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