Traditional martial arts require great physical and mental disciple, not just physical skills. They require perfection of basic techniques and character. Since perfection is always just out of reach, students see it as an attainable goal, even though they never quite seem to reach it. As the students get closer to perfection, they began change and feel different. Not because of some flashy movements they may be able to perform or some goofy beliefs they may have, but because they feel in control of their minds, bodies, and lives, which makes them different than most people around them.
Good, solid traditional schools seldom become huge moneymaking businesses, but they also seldom go out of business; they always seem to make enough profit to stay open. They make not have as many students as the “en vogue” schools, but they have more students who stay with them for life. Students find that feeling different comes from an internal change, not from external manifestations, such as strange clothing, hair color, or behavior. It is one thing to behave differently; it is another thing to be different. It is relatively easy to act different; it is difficult to be different. One may easily act as a “gangsta” acts by dressing and speaking as “gangstas” do. However, to be a real gangster requires a mental change and arduous training on the streets in a criminal environment.
The more different the students in a school feel, the more likely they are to remain with the school for a lifetime.
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