|The Brisbane mob !|
Within the world of karate there exists an overwhelming urge to convert others to a particular way of doing things...'their' way. Groups define themselves not so much by what and how they practice, but instead, by how poor, bad, or wrong, everybody else is. Each group is lead by a little god, and followers are encouraged to spew his message across every delivery platform they can find. With Evangelistic zeal, they make their message clear...."You need what we've got!" If only I had a $ for every time I've heard that one!
The problem is, that unlike my friend Alan, proof is never provided to substantiate the 'truth' groups lay claim to, just anecdotes, hearsay, and stories based on a system of self-supporting talk and ritual. Half truths are readily taken as whole truths, fiction is routinely mistaken for fact; and all the time the 'faith' each member of the group has in their leader grows ever deeper and interdependent. The followers need their god, their god, his followers; each orbits the other in a binary dance that, from the inside at least, takes on the appearance of meaningful progress. But it's hardly that, just a tired shuffle to old music being played on contemporary instruments.
With each 'church' expounding it's own truth, some gods play a sneaky game (the long con, tricksters call it)...they pretend they don't want you, and allow just enough hope to believe you might...just might, enter the temple. Then, one day (actually, without trying too hard) you do: you're in! From that point on you're so grateful to be a part of the church you happily empty your cup (and your head), and drink heartily from the fountain of 'secret' 'special' and 'hitherto unknown' knowledge. Relieved at last to be on the right track, you hit the social media pages with a vengeance....you've seen the light, and the rest of us need to listen.
Your conversion is complete, your relationship with karate is now grounded in the words of your little god (not his actions though, because they often contradict what he's saying), his truth is your truth, it's 'the' truth, and you only have to look at every other group around you for the proof you need. The superiority of his karate is self-evident, the depth of his knowledge so great, the righteousness of his discourse so compelling; he's right because everyone else is so clearly wrong! After 42 years of karate practice, this is what I know about the little gods of karate...
"When they tell you you are mistaken, they say that not for your benefit, but to hear just one more time how right they are."