Karl E. Geis, Hanshi
10th Dan Aikido, 9th Dan Judo U.S.J.A., 8th Dan Jyodo
The most important part of any educational system is fairness and a constant vigilance against bias, bigotry, elitism and arrogance.
If people are susceptible to the diseases of bias, bigotry, elitism and arrogance, they will generally fall prey to, and be trapped in, the games associated with the construction of illusions about themselves and their relationship to others. They become consumed by the illusion of power, the illusion of knowledge, the illusion of influence, the illusions of superiority and grandeur and the illusion of omnipotence. They strive to construct their world to fit their illusions, requiring all people around them to fit into their scheme of illusions.
Usually they associate with people that live in a world of illusions and sometimes keep the game going for a long time. Sooner or later, however, they must come face to face with a reality they can't avoid with a construct of illusions. When this occurs, their world either falls apart or it gets more weird. There is no middle ground.
Now to tell the truth, we all have a little of this in us. Therefore, as we are going to be doing martial arts, let's try to keep our system and ourselves as straight as we can and thereby avoid laying these traps that will eventually devour us and our art. A short definition would be to stay in the world of the probable and beware of the world of the possible. With enough illusion anything is possible but the stripping away of illusion usually shows that technique and skill imagined possible by the formula of illusion usually has a very low probability factor when subjected to reality testing.
A number of studies show that even people who are profoundly competent scientists and who deal in a profoundly logical world in their profession are just as susceptible as commonly educated people to the practice of living the parts of their lives not subject to true provability testing in the worlds of imagination and illusion. So none of us are immune or exempt. We can however guard diligently against letting illusion control our world.
In reality you, as teachers, are the servants of the student. Work hard for them, teach them and require from them the disciplines that will help them to grow into confident excellence. However, never lapse (for long) into the illusion that your knowledge makes you special. If you didn't have the students to teach, your knowledge would be a useless thing in your brain, stagnating and looking for an outlet.
All of you know how it feels on a bad and stormy night. Everyone is late and you begin to wonder if you are going to have a class to teach and then the relief you feel when a bunch of people walk in at the last moment and their desire to be in your presence confirms you as a teacher of rare knowledge and value to them. Well, when they confirm you, you in turn, confirm them equally by the relief that you feel and the knowledge that you are really needed. Lets face it, you need them and they need you. It's a two way street.
Karl E. Geis