Saturday, November 19, 2016

I got nothin'

Too many things I want to write about results in me staring blindly at the screen with a resounding...yup, I got nothing- and then suddenly...paragraphs spiraling down into what may be one of the dusty secrets in the martial arts world...may be

Got started with this one: do I pick up on the last post and stir deeper into the conversation about sexual assault, rape culture? Murky waters charged with deep emotionally charged contexts - got a whole lot of words on this one but I don't know if there's any point to it sometimes.

Or do I venture into the twisting threads about our judicial system and duty and self-defense? On the back side of a court appearance as a judicially approved "expert" in the field of violence dynamics - again I have a whole lot of words and at the same time...none. Questions mostly too, the difference between duty and justice and if they stand in opposition to one another, what weighs most heavily? Is there a "should" in there somewhere?

And then there's this. The most annoying little bouncy ball hitting its way around inside my skull at the moment. Annoying because it doesn't seem to be losing inertia and annoying because my monkey brain feels the topic is both moot (it applies to so few people perhaps) and incendiary (because where it does apply, half the band will be really unhappy with the dialogue).

Here's the This. A question really, one with an assertion behind it. Asked by a colleague -yes, a female colleague in the martial profession.

The question: I wonder how many women who have made it as professionals and moved out from under the wings of their male instructors got punished for it?
The assertion: a lot of them, maybe even the majority.

The observation: when the guys leave from out underneath and go on to create their own business, work, etc. in the martial field - their male instructors feel betrayed, angry, pissed, stabbed in the a degree. Before too long though, they're back to talking, even training together and collaborating. But when the women do the same thing the punishment runs deep.

The women's businesses are openly maligned. Rumors generate about how their ranks weren't legitimately earned, how they really aren't all that 'good' as instructors, practitioners, or whatever the context may be. People beyond the original instructor relationship get on board and shunning happens. And the punishment goes on much, much longer than what seems common when the same dynamic goes down between male instructor - and his male student-turned-instructor.

Important - the initial reactions of "thou shall not ever leave one's instructor-ever -ever - ad infinitum" are equal to both the women and the men who violate this deep martial arts control driven protocol. What's interesting, is my colleague's observation that it eventually dies down between the male students-turned-instructors and not so much with the women.

This observation sat and cooked and careened around like a Superball perpetually rebounding off the walls. And now there are three more questions, at least...
1) how isolated v. how prevalent is this dynamic?
2) why do martial arts instructors (male as this is still the majority) who help launch female instructors take on this intense level of possession over the women and their freedom to pursue what may be possible?
3) and to what degree does she, the instructor-to-be unconsciously assist in accepting the collar and it's invisible leash?

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