The traditions found in Western boxing and wrestling (at least in the professional ranks) are negative, rather than positive. These “arts” do not build character, they destroy it. With this experience so close to home, it is the irresponsible instructor who leaves character building to chance. We cannot excuse ourselves with “I only taught my student how to hurt someone. What he does with the skills that I gave him is not my concern.” A trainer might say that, but a never a teacher.

Martial art instructors must be more than just trainers and coaches; we must be teachers and educators. Without spending a lot of time indoctrinating our students in another cultural life-style, culturally American instructors are obligated to give their students what the majority of them are asking for (and paying for), good martial art skills. But we must also equip them with the skills necessary for developing their powers of reason and judgment, skills that prepare them for life as mature martial artists and contributing members of society.