Since 1976

July 2019

What is FAME in the martial arts?

I just attended another Hall of Fame ceremony for the martial arts. While I enjoy going to these events to see old friends, and certainly appreciate the recognition, I wonder if we aren't sometimes putting a little too much emphasis on putting ourselves (meaning long-time, practicing martial artists) into a category called "Fame."

Of course we should honor those who came before us. We should show respect to those who have dedicated decades to study and to passing down the skills to the next generation. But when I see Facebook posts or online ads where someone claims to be in 42 Halls of Fame (no joke, that is one I actually saw) then I think maybe the glamor of shiny plaques and trophies may have overtaken us.

I've got some of those plaques and to tell you the truth most of them are in the back of a closet. I would never presume to call myself a "famous" martial artist. I realize everything online today is about "building your brand" and maybe that's one way to do it but I'd still rather consider myself just a humble student and teacher.