Ben Judkins just had my friend Daniel Mroz write a piece on the doing martial arts research, check it out.
My first reaction to the title "Choosing a School: Affinity, Danger and Compliance," is that missing something. That's because I memorized the Daodejing many years ago. There is a chapter about the student teacher relationship that I will paraphrase below.
- The best teacher is like a shadowy presence: Affinity
- The next best uses kindness and generosity: Compliance
- After that they resort to threats and fear: Danger
- And finally they cut you off: literally "Hack" you
A teacher student relationship uses all four, but it is probably the last that is most neglected. It is a weird sideways jag to think about how a relationship is going to end when it is either just beginning, or is in the middle of an intense bond; but considering the end is both valuable and essential.
I like to think about all my teacher student relationships as life-long. Yet, if that relationship produces profound change we can expect it to go through some wild reversals.