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Please provide your thoughts about this post by Guro Khalid:

TO ALL GURO'S OF ESCRIMA / KALI / ARNIS: from Guro Khalid: Here is a Rule: Listen Carefully: Guro's should not meet students after a Class ends. Both should separate. Because there is nothing to say after the class. ALSO, no alcohol drinking for Guro's with students, in public, or in private, from now on. It could lead to some incident, and then your school's image will be effected for all. I follow the above 2 principles. For long life of us, the Filipino Martial Arts Community.

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An interesting view. 

From 'now on"..sounds like something has already happened, but not surprising as soon as you add alcohol. You get a room full of martial artists boozing it up and well, you get that stupid MMA House show where everyone acts like an idiot.  I'm sure it has and is happening somewhere now.

That being said, I've been to several BBQ's and social gatherings where my instructor is present without incident as we are all (mostly, haha) responsible adults with no ego's, So if we start talking 'shop' it's for the benefit of understanding, not showing off or getting liquid courage up to challenge your Guro to a real fight to 'see if the gunting actually works against a real punch".

The separation of students from teachers should be observed for several reasons both for the protection of students as well as teachers..  As a college instructor,  I have to adhere to policy to not get into a students' car or meet them after school hours, unless on a legitimate tutoring.  If I have to, it would be a semi-private place like a library or coffee shop.

There is also the view that seen outside the gym, the student will suddenly see the instructor as 'a mere human' and this would change the old-school mystique that instructors seemed to carry over their students.  I agree there is a small degree of necessity to this in order for the student to see the teacher AS a teacher and not just a peer on the same level.  They are not.

My view!

Sounds like personal/personnel issues to me. My group members are family and always enjoy each other's company and never had any incidents. They're also responsible adults...
The overwhelming majority of responses to the post on FB align with my own feelings. FMA is heavily geared towards familial and friendship social bonds. We spend time together because we enjoy each other's company. So much is shared through the social interactions that encompass more than just strike, block, counter. We are human beings that rely on social interaction. I believe a lot is missed if you remove this component.

I have spent time with numerous FMA, Kuntao, and Silat masters/instructors throughout the US and in the Philippines. Without exception, they have all encouraged the bonds of friendship and camaraderie. Hanging out is part of the experience...

The relationship needs to vary depending on the student.  I don't teach kids these days but when I did it was clearly as more of an authority figure and capital I Instructor approach.  My adult class probably has an average age of 35 almost entirely male, over half of the group has been in other martial arts for a substantial period (10+ years), some have more experience than I do.  Do I treat a 40 year old adult male differently than that 18 year old woman?  Yes, I do, I will act to avoid the possible appearance of indiscretion.  Is that perfectly fair in this PC world?  Probably not.

I quite openly try to make my class a family group, I annually host a camping and training trip where all students and family are invited.  My students host "spar-b-ques" at their houses during the summer where again, family is invited.  I very deliberately do not sell myself as "the master," I describe myself as simply a student who is further down the path than they are.  Virtually everyone of my students has smacked me a solid hit in hard contact stick fighting, some of them have seen me bleed, and then some of them patched me up. :D  We go by first names unless it is something really formal and we don't wear belts or rank.  Somehow the guys in the group still know that I am the instructor and feel that the instruction is worthy enough to pay for.

I have been in clubs that have been entirely a business transaction, pay your money, get your training, go home.  The clubs that feel I enjoyed, the ones that I want to attend regularly are the ones that are family.  Besides getting together for just martial arts things, my BJJ group that got together to watch the early UFC, my Kenpo group the instructor threw New Year's and Superbowl parties every year or we would go out waterskiing on the lake.  Those are the clubs I remember, and more importantly the ones that have generated friendships that have lasted decades.  We don't do this in a vacuum, if we enjoy the training we will do the training more. 

IMHO, to each his own. When my master (GGM Braulio Pedoy) was alive after class we always had dinner that he or his wife prepared. We could drink beer if we wanted, but usually did not as we had to drive home. For those that are Filipino or adopted Filipino (as I am) we know the social process is an integral part of the culture of art that we love. In our school: Ola'a-Nalo Eskrima our philosophy is: The people that come to our school are treated: 1st as Family, 2nd as Students, 3rd as Customers. As our Family we are there in time of need for each other, As our Student it is our responsibility to provide you with practical martial training, As our Customer we are indebted to provide you with value for dollar. I guess after living all of my life in the Pacific Basin area it is difficult for me to separate the FMA training and social aspects as I consider it one and the same. Mahalo for letting me post, Aloha.

I disagree with Serrada Khalid, his rule is too absolute to be adequately functional in all teacher-student relationships for every pairing in every circumstance.  If the bulk of your students are under 21 years old, its a good rule to follow for common sense moral reasons as well as legal liability reasons.  If the bulk of your students are over 21 and depending on the age differentials between them and yourself the rule still might apply. 

Another consideration would be based on whether or not the chief or an assistant instructor and the relative age difference between yourself and the students over 21 years old.  Since I generally teach adults and we all have had children, the types of conversations and considerations are important considerations to include in the relationships that I have with my students, even the other staff people in the schools that I am teaching at since I am an adjunct instructor renting space.

A hard and fast rule about maintaining absolute separation between myself and my students is not going to work for me in every case. 

bahalanamulti-style after most practices

Bahala Na Multi-Style - The Filipino Way.

The only difference between your practice and ours - we don't wait till after practice, we do it during practice (no alcohol)


Can i join?

Familiarity breeds contempt.  It's an old saying but true.  I've seen it first hand.  Students who were life long friends; friendships that spanned decades; social connections that went far beyond class time, I have seen just whither and die.  There are people I spent nearly a decade training who just turned away and disappeared without explanation or thanks, preferring to swear loyalty to a "Grand Master" than preserve a friendship built over years of sweat and blood.  Was it because I treated them more like an equal and less like a student?  Could be.  Maybe not.  I'll never know.  Part of me believes that we did just get too familiar and they stopped seeing me as a teacher and more as just a fallible man.  As their awareness in the art grew, they began to focus more on where they were than how they got there; forgetting that what now came naturally to them was once a great mystery that their teacher unlocked for them.  I think this is more endemic of our modern American psychology than we realize.  It goes hand in hand with the current generational lack of personal responsibility.  It is a form of arrogance and it is very distasteful.  However, issuing edicts and rules of engagement such as this is futile and smacks of insecurity.  Though painful, an instructor should give freely, associate as his nature and his temperament guide him and accept the consequences if the familiarity he offers as a gift gets thrown back in his face and spat on.  If you don't risk this, you will never be rewarded with true loyalty and friendship; only compliance and sycophancy.   If they turn from you and treat you like crap, they were never your "student" to begin with, only consumers using you on their way to fulfill their fantasies.


Amen! Great realistic analysis.


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