Not too long ago I was having a conversation with the founder of our School, and inevitably, when two old instructors get together, the conversation at some point will drift towards complaining about the quality and quantity of students, both past and present.
Being a traditional Japanese art, there is so much more to the School than what appears on the surface and often any attempt to teach or present the more holistic aspects is met with indifference by the majority of students.
My predecessor summed them up nicely: “Their interest peaks at technique”, he said.
Who are these students, so shallow as to not see beyond the physical shapes, the wrist locks, the throws, the samurai excitement of playing with swords?
They are the ones who are no longer students.
There are many reasons for people to start martial arts training, but ultimately, if your interest peaks at technique, you are probably better off moving over to sports, perhaps even one of those that pretends to be a martial art.
The students whose interests extend beyond technique are still with us.