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Why Are Martial Arts Instructors Fat?

This was the question I was considering whilst sitting in my gyms cafe after my workout watching the various comings and goings. I tend to live a life of routine and after lifting on Sunday I head downstairs to cafe and have a cup of tea, toast, vegemite and a fresh orange juice. During this time I stare out the window and contemplate various aspects of life. Whilst I was partaking of this ritual yesterday I noticed that  the auditorium attached to the gym was holding a karate tournament. Yet another organisation I had never heard of was holding a get together where they pretend to hit one another and are awarded points for the best pretending. I have no idea why they call them martial arts when they dont actually hit someone or have someone trying to hit them. 

As I watched the various comings and goings I noticed an interesting thing, most of the instructors and officials were fat and quite surprisingly a good number were ducking outside for a cigarette at what seemed to be any break in proceedings. This did surprise me since the recollection of my instructors were that some were colossal pricks but they were always slim pricks.

Contemplating this made me consider the notion of personal narrative and the integrity that this narrative has for each individual. The word that keep coming into my mind was congruence which in my mind simply means harmony or balance. Your internal and external narrative are in balance – there is no tension between the two. Being a fat martial arts instructor means you have no harmony since the internal narrative and external expression of that narrative are at loggerheads with one another. It is obvious that this need for internal and external harmony didnt occur to many of those I observed yesterday despite harmony or balance being one of the cornerstone philosophies of all styles of karate.

I have always found it hard to understand how people can expect success when the narrative they follow is not expressed in day to day life, surely sooner or later the subconscious rebels against this tension and sets its own course. This may explain why so many people who lack this balance run into problems in aspects of their lives. My example of this in trading is traders who have poorly defined reasons for wanting to trade. As an example I had a conversation many years ago with a trader and during the conversation I asked them their motivations for trading. Their answer was that they wanted to spend more time with their family and working from home would enable that. I then asked how they were going to do this. The answer was by intraday trading FX. You can instantly see that the stated aim is at odds with the vehicle of achieving that aim.

If there is no harmony then there can be no progress.



Some people look down on garage training. They think a “real” martial arts school should have a well-equipped dojo with heavy bags hanging from the ceiling, weapons on the walls, and thick mats on the floor.

That’s all good. But no one should ever look down on garage training, and no student should be embarrassed to study in someone’s garage or home. Some instructors are traditional, and prefer to teach only family or individuals they know and trust. They do not promote their arts. A student should consider it an honor to be allowed to train in an instructor’s home.

Many instructors teach out of their garages, or at the park, because their primary pursuit is the art itself. These types of teachers are obsessed with learning and honing their abilities. They don’t want to invest their time in running a studio, doing paperwork, marketing and sales. They would rather focus on training and even traveling great distances to learn from other masters. Instructors like this can be the most gifted martial artists around, even if no one knows their name outside of a small circle. Bobbe Edmonds comes to mind, or the legendary Professor Wally Jay (who taught in his basement, and was scorned by other masters for years because of his innovations to Japanese Jujitsu).

More here – Hammerhead Martial Arts.

PS: From my perspective I would never go back to a traditional school.

RIP Mr Miyagi


Your Style Is Bullshit

Cue Master Ken



They Still Dont Get Paid Enough

The training is fun – the being punched in the head not so much….


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