When Traditional Art Forms are extracted from the rich cultures they originate from and introduced the American way, it always looses so much of the actual texture it is intricately woven with and becomes blanketed with the overuse and over-abuse of words such as “Namaste”.
Just cause you learned to say the word, doesn’t mean you embody what it means to use it.
I don’t mean to sound like a blowhole of negativity here, but I find this culture’s manner of learning Traditional Arts Forms to be a bit denigrating to the art forms people love to be practitioners of.
People labeling themselves Sifu and Master.
Introducing themselves with their desired titles.
I have never once heard my father ever say, “I am Master Chen”, I have never heard any of his classmates ever place a title before their name, because those titles aren’t title you give yourself, those are titles people address you with, out of respect for the respect you have earned over time, through hard work and honesty.
I get silly people messaging and emailing me telling me they are Sifu this, Master that…
I have no idea who you are and you are not my Sifu or Master and NO, I do not want you teach me anything and I definitely do not want you to take me out for tea.
Soliciting people to become your pupil, does not make you a Master.
It doesn’t even make you a teacher, it does make you a bit strange and very, very uncomfortable to interact with.
Now back to the Americanization of Traditional Art Forms.
It is so silly and anyone nowadays can offer a certification program or get a certificate after “studying” for a few months, what actually takes several years to just nail the basics on and the fact that these people don’t understand the several years they need to just get the basics down is just proof enough that they are unfit to teach.
Yoga has been getting such a bad rap and there is nothing wrong with Yoga.
What is wrong with Yoga is that it has been turned into a competitive practice, loosing it’s internal basis.
What is wrong with Yoga is that too many inexperienced people are teaching to show off their skills, attracting very innocent minds that have no concept of the internal, so they instead push, to push their physical limits without an awareness of the necessary need for the Internal awareness to balance the physical limits, this causes serious injuries.
Yoga students have become too concerned with the person next to them, than focusing on themselves and I have to say this is heavily influenced by the manner in which many Yoga “Teachers” are Reflected in their Teaching Manners, which often times carry a heavy undertone of “Look at Me”, instead of their focus being to looking at their students.
You can’t teach an Internal Art if your Eyes are turned inwards or if you wear your eyes too high on your head.
As a teacher of the Traditional Arts, teaching should be the mechanism that creates a teacher of the student so that you, the teacher are studiously learning how to teach them.
Humble is the teacher who is always learning how to studiously share knowledge acquired through life experiences.
Mastery only comes from the childlike innocence that sees all there is to learn.
Learning is teaching.
This label of “New Age” seems to seek immediate attention for the wanting to show off, more than wanting to learn.
Tradition is not “New Age” and it should be respected as such, not redefined by a generation obsessed with Selfies and very Non-Traditional ways of under developing Character.
When you are looking for a school to learn Traditional Arts from, look for a teacher who is interested in asking about you.
Anyone teaching Traditional Arts should always be sensing you all the time too and express that openly.
An immediate Red Flag is a person that talks about everything that’s about them and never reads you accurately at all.