|Interviewing the late Tatsuo Suzuki sensei of Wado-ryu, c1989|
Not for the first time, the word 'elitist' has been used in connection with my opinions on karate. It's a common enough recourse for those who have a different set of standards to mine. The implication is clear enough....I'm unreasonable, smug, and perhaps even a little condescending too!
If being unreasonable means I'm not prepared to lower my standards to suit the fashion of the day, then fine.
If being smug means I happen to believe there is more to passing on karate than making money from it, then fine.
If being condescending means I'm not prepared to entertain the views and opinions of those who have experienced only a fraction of the things I have, then fine.
The Internet has allowed for equal exposure, companies like lulu have allowed for easy publication, and now people are falling over themselves to arrange for mindless access to Okinawan karate. All of these things have helped lower the bar, and allowed people to believe they can have what they want....just because they want it.
Lowering the bar happens in karate when people become too lazy or too greedy, to do things properly. There is nothing elitist about growing up, except to those who are just growing older.