During my career in the martial arts, which has spanned about 37 years, I have had the privilege of training and learning from some very great instructors. Unfortunately one of the pitfalls of the martial arts are the politics involved in them at a certain point in your progression.
When I was about 21, I left home for a career in policing, this meant I moved clear across the country. A few years after I left home my father and I ended up leaving the school we had belonged to for over 20 years. The reasons we left are not important for this article, and frankly it is all behind us now. The theme of this article is about credit given and taken. I would like to believe that in my last 21 years I have accomplished many things in the martial arts, founding an organization, creating my own dojo which has been successfully operating for over 20 years, creating a network of dojos under my umbrella that work well together and improving my own skills and knowledge.
All of these things would not have been possible without the influence of my teachers in my formative years. Although we may not be aligned anymore I do give them total credit for many of the things I have learned, be professional, work hard, promote professional events, make people feel welcome… I have no problem giving credit where credit is due.
What I wonder is do these people take credit for I have accomplished? I would have no problem if my early mentors were to say, hey, that Steve Hiscoe guy on the westcoast, he used to train here, he was my student, I taught him xyz…
I have had students leave my school and want to pursue their own paths also. Some of theses students have gone on to great careers and have used the skills I have taught them. I have no problem endorsing them and even saying, they were my students at one time.
Give credit where credit is due