Words to the Would-be Wise Warrior

I received a note in which a sentence contained the word string, “…are supposably caring sensi their in the dojo…” What the writer actually meant to write was, “…our supposedly caring sensei there in the dojo…”

He was writing to ask about how to become an affiliate instructor in our SKH Quest network of schools and clubs. Our office team was stumped as to the best reply.

One member pointed out that we were dealing with someone who was uneducated, lazily careless, or dull. None of those three qualities are positives when considering taking on the role of teaching our technologies for how to be a powerful presence in the world.

Certainly there are plenty of ignorant, sloppy, or stupid people teaching martial arts in the world. Sure, such a person might teach a little self-defense, or maybe even some pretty effective martial violence. But our program only starts with not getting beaten in fights; real power over assailants and enemies who would shut down your life requires knowledge, initiative, and intelligence.

Another friend suggested that maybe I was being too uptight about what he called “the tiny details”. He asked if I understood what the writer meant. Obviously, since I could successfully translate and correct his sentence, I understood. “Well there you go,” my friend chided. The writer was doing OK because he got his message across to me, and the message was more important than the mere words that carried the message.

No. The words communicated a message way bigger than the desires of the writer. The words told me that I was dealing with an uneducated, careless, or dull person, and as such a person, he would have a very difficult time qualifying as a teacher in our network. Not to mention that he told me he had not even taken lesson one in our martial art. There was little encouragement I could give him.

“Yes but what if he were a truly good person, and with the right coaching, he might be a great martial arts instructor?” my friend continued.

Indeed possible. In that case I would urge him to:

  • Study a remedial writing course, or at least read a lot of clear writing and notice its form; overcome lack of education
  • Pay attention to and engage actively in the details; learn to overcome laziness
  • Spend lots of time with people more accomplished than him; it is possible to be inspired into performing above our latent capacities
  • And yes, at least get a few DVDs to see why our martial art is so different from what he was practicing.

Effective speech is one of eight qualities we need to pursue for self-perfection. In short form, when it comes to using communication to get the most out of life when dealing with others, the guiding question becomes, “What is the perfect thing to say here; what would be the ideal way to say it?” Learn to communicate in a way that produces the results you want.

14 comments to “Words to the Would-be Wise Warrior”

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  1. Uuups (sp?) … I mean : Merry Christmas !

  2. An-Shu,

    Great points along with insights that all of us should be practicing ~

    That is Mindful Awareness ~

    Even when we feel we don’t need to. Equally important, listen and learn from those further along the path than ourself ~
    especially from teachers such as you An-Shu.

    Hope this recent post can present a lesson all of us can take home and apply.

    Merry Christmas everyone, and may the New Year open its possibilities to you ~

    Stationed Overseas

  3. Very interesting post.

  4. The information on basic speech, spelling and courtesy is all out there freely for the taking, and has been for a very, very long time. That some people willfully, even pridefully ignore the importance of these things is stupefying to me. What can I say? We live in a world where spray-painting on public property is revered as Art, and gun-toting, potty-mouthed delinquents are revered as pop-culture heroes.

  5. Shane Folster says: -#1

    I too am of two minds on this subject. I blame internet chat rooms and texting on cell phones (interesting enough, your websites dictionary tells me texting is misspelled but this word is already embedded in our lexicon). The real question is do we continue to just shake our heads at those that are lazy, ignorant, or as you say just plain dull, or should we kindly but firmly point out their mistakes in hopes of educating them? Language is a constantly changing thing. My only hope is that we will wake up in time to keep it from devolving further.

  6. I would first suspect that english is his second language, or second, that he may be dyslexic. More of the letter might reveal those patterns.

  7. I mean no disrepec lack of spelling does not mean lack of education! I have dyslecsa and can not spell all that well. This dose not mean I’m an undeucated person. I also get my sentnces screwed up. I have a B.S. two master dergeers, and Im working on my Dr. I have worked so hard to over come my learing disablities. I think that before one comentes on an other inteligence they should walk a mile in their shose. I got pick on so much in school. There were time that wanted to end it all, because people that pick on me because I was difrent. I was thought that I was to stupid to go to collage. I ented Collage with a third grade reading leave.
    everone that picked on this person does not know him, or anything about them. None of you know what it like to be able to read a word one time and not recinize the word the next. You should know the heart acke of not being able to tell the difrnce between dbpq and mix them all up or seeing dog and reading god. I am not lazy, or igorant my bain mix thing up. I understand that I will be pick on but my spelling. I was consitering tying to study To Shin Do,but now I dont think I will. I had a lot of repect for your school, but I dont know now.

  8. You are correct, Jaype. If you had indeed read the entire letter as my staff and I did, it would be very clear to you from the writer’s story that he was neither writing as one for whom English was a second language, nor was he dyslexic.
    – Stephen K. Hayes

  9. I really did not mean any disrespece on my post. I did not read the letter that you are refring too. I am sorry that I was a little pasionent on my post. Im a little sensitve about putting others down. I have also work with people with devlopmental disorters. I have seen the mean thinghs that poeple say and do. I hope that you forgive me for the hash post, part of me was just trying to protect others that may not be able to defend them selves. An-shu I hope that you forgive me, I let my personal expernces get the better of me. I am sorry.

  10. I was wondering if anyone knows in which of An-shu Hayes’ books I would be able to find the complete list and text of the Eight Qualities of Self Perfection mentioned in this post?
    Unless I have made a mistake, the link within the post shows only the first of eight qualities.
    Thank you!

    [Editor’s note: You can find the complete set of 8 in An-shu’s book ENLIGHTENED SELF PROTECTION and another description of the list of 8 in his book HOW TO OWN THE WORLD]

  11. steve siverling says: -#1


    You are most certainly right in your assessment. Perhaps it is best for this individual to focus on their education right now. Then later think about opening a school later.

    Still, perhaps they are not dyslexic but has other difficulties. Perhaps, this individual studied in another system for awhile. Maybe he’s disallusioned as you were with Karate. Perhaps before he invests his money into the system he wants to know if he will have the support to open a school.

    Perhaps the person has not taken even a lesson in your system, but perhaps he read some of your books, or your teachers. Perhaps they have read other systems online. Perhaps they are unable to enroll in a different system because of factors they cannot control.

    Perhaps they have a choice between your system, and another system. The other system promises them that they will be able to get a paid instructor position or start their own school once they get their blackbelt. Yet perhaps they know someone who has gone to this school. Perhaps they have concerns about this school though.

    He could also go to Japan as you did. But then he would be a gaijin. How likely would he fit in? From your response it’s not very likely. Also, why go to Japan and compete with you?

    Perhaps this person is young. If they start young what could they not accomplish? Perhaps they have overcome obstacles others would have perished from.

    I am personally rectifying the situation about not having seen any of your dvd’s. I just bought the home study course. I will try and get a camera soon.



  12. I would agree that if this person has not studied in a school or with the DVD’s and reading material it would be ridiculous for them to expect you to allow them to open their own school. If that was indeed what they were asking for, I got a little lost in the story and all of the reply’s.
    But I do have to point out I am a practitioner of To-Shin-Do. I study in a dojo and my sensei is one of the best teachers I have ever met. Including grade school, high school and college. He is not lazy by far and is actually really intelligent. But he is dyslexic. So he cannot spell and it doesn’t matter! And I would make a bet that anyone at my school would all agree with me 100% that this fact does not make him a bad teacher. Actually it makes me respect him even more because he has struggled through a disability and has earned a 3rd degree black belt in To-Shin-Do!
    So with that said I do agree that this individual should focus on actually learning the art and spend time developing a skill level. But not being able to spell definately does not make a person lazy. Not using a computer program to edit your writing before you send it to An-shu Hayes asking to be an instructor does seem lazy!

  13. Thank you for the Editor’s note regarding post number ten above. I have been trying to decide which book would be best to start with as I have not studied To-Shin Do before.
    It seems that “Enlightened Self Protection” will be a good starting point.

  14. Unfortunately, the use of computerized ‘spell-checkers’ has really taken spelling and grammar out of the consciousness of many people. We are so used to the assumption that a computer is automatically fixing our spelling that we presume that anything that comes through a computer, regardless of what programs we might be running, is spell-checked. The fact is that these systems still have a hard time when a misspelled word becomes another valid word- form/from, then/than, etc. I have a martial arts video that features a section on ‘Kinife Defense’ for knives, and translates Ganseki Nage as ‘Bolder Throw’; bolder than what, I don’t know. Thank goodness it’s not called ‘Lightening Strikes!’

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