In this episode, Jeremy talks about respect at martial arts events. As the cliché goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
When in Rome – Episode 227
Arrogance and pride may get in our head sometimes, leading us to look down on people around us or what they’re doing. When we’re invited to a friend’s house, we must definitely follow the rules set before us. The same goes for martial arts events. We are invited because there is a certain level of respect that is given to us and it must be reciprocated by behaving in a way that’s appropriate, even if it’s not what you feel is best. Respect shown to the event organizer and the participants is paramount. Hence, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Take a listen!
You can read the transcript below or download here.
Hey what’s going on everybody. This is Jeremy Lesniak coming to you with episode 227 of whistlekick martial arts radio. You’re probably noticing some difference in the audio quality, I’ll talk about that in a second but stay tuned because today were going to talk about well, here the title. Because I can’t break it down in a really simple way, were going to call today’s episode, when in Rome.
Now, if you’re new to the show, this is going to be a weird one to jump in on but that’s okay. I’m the founder of whistlekick sparring gear and apparel, I’m also your host on this show, martial arts radio. And here on martial arts radio we come at you twice a week with a couple of different things. On Mondays, we usually bring you an interview. I think we’ve always brought you an interview on Mondays and on Thursdays we bring you some kind of topic show maybe me ranting about something or lately we’ve rebroadcast a couple of episodes from friends of ours that have podcast on the martial arts. You know, its king of a mixed bag and it allows us to get into some topics and have a little bit of fun.
If you’re not aware of the stuff we make, I would encourage you to check out whistlekick.com that’s where you can find everything about our gear and our apparel and all of the other side projects that we do. It is one hundred percent focused on the traditional martial arts and the traditional martial artist, were just trying to bring you the stuff that you want, and honestly, the stuff that I want because I am a traditional martial artist and were building this company around the traditional martial arts.
Now what do I mean when I say when in Rome? You’ve probably heard that saying, it’s a bit of a cliché. Honestly, I don’t know the history of it but the full quote line is when in Rome, do as the romans do. And the idea is that, when you’re in a spot, when you’re perhaps hanging out with people, do things the way they would do them. And that’s for a few reasons, first it’s respect and it’s for the possibility that you might learn something. And it’s a saying that I wish we took more to heart in the martial arts, when in Rome, do as the romans do. When you are hanging out in somebody else’s martial arts spot whether that’s their school or maybe you’re visiting a tournament circuit, that’s what we’re going to talk about today, tournaments.
Be open minded. Assume that you don’t know anything. Be willing to learn and most importantly don’t assert your own ego at the expense of someone else’s respect that they deserve because everyone deserves respect. Alright, I think so. I think that’s pretty important. Somebody’s got to start the respect and at worst case somebody has to keep it going. So why am I talking about this?
The reason the noise might be coming through, you could probably hear me driving, I’m in the kick mobile, some of you know that vehicle. Some of you have seen pictures of that vehicle. Well, I’m frequently traveling around new England and honestly outside new England quite a bit. Most of the northeast attending events. Sometimes the whistlekick booth is setup, sometimes I’m in a chair refereeing, sometimes I’m attending seminars or teaching things. You know, I just like to travel around. That’s one of the best parts about running whistlekick is I get to call this work when really, it’s not, it’s a lot of fun. But, I am on the way back to headquarters aka home in Vermont from an event out of state and it went great. Everybody had a wonderful time, it’s a new event but put on by a veteran promoter, a friend of mine and it was a lot of fun. Everybody seem to have a good time but, there was one issue that popped up. There was a gentleman who was running a ring, he was the head referee of these divisions or rather one of these competition rings and he assumed that his way was the best way, the only way and unfortunately it was counter to what the tournament promoter wanted. Now this gentleman had decades of experience and deserves some respect but let’s be honest, he was there to serve the wider community. The folks that were there to compete. And the promoter had a vision for his event. Not unfortunately, were not at a place where tournament referees are paid generally but, hopefully we’ll get there at some point and at the very least if you’re going to step in, if you’re going to put on a bib or a shirt or your martial arts uniform and sit yourself in your chair and referee? You owe it to the attendees and the spectators and most importantly, as far as I am concerned, the promoter and their staff, to maintain their vision because you don’t know the other moving parts. You’re one person, you’re one person in a ring and to know everything that’s going on, that’s one person. That’s the promoter, that’s the person overseeing the event, maybe it’s an arbitrator if it’s not the promoter. The point is, this gentleman totally threw out what was asked of him because he felt he was entitled to do that because of his experience. And because of that, some things didn’t go right. There were rectified, but there were some unhappy people. Some sad children, some confused parents, some grumpy other people, we don’t have to talk about the why or the specifics really it doesn’t matter. But the point is, this guy, it wasn’t his spot. He wasn’t in his Rome, he was visiting, he was an outsider. And his arrogance, because unfortunately this didn’t come from ignorance, I heard enough stuffs that this was conscious. He decided that he knew better and in the end, he didn’t, and what he did had an impact, a negative impact on others.
So, what’s the lesson to learn here? The lesson because I hope that everytime I get on the microphone and I talk to you all, that there’s some benefit that comes from it, hopefully at the very least it’s entertaining, but more importantly, I hope that I make you think. I hope that you consider the words that I’m saying and makes you consider how you could be better as a human being, as a martial artist because that’s really, as far as I’m concerned, the goal of being a martial artist is to become a better person. The next time you are visiting someone, whether it’s in a martial arts context or not, take note of what they’re doing, operate the way they are, if you’re in their home and they flush the toilet every time they use the bathroom, you should flush the toilet every time they use the bathroom. If they don’t, you should not. Maybe not the most politically correct or classy example, but it’s one that I see happen all the time. People are stuck to those habits. It is a respect thing and if people are doing things differently that you, try to find a respectful way to find out why. Hey, you know I might be wrong but I see that you’re doing this and I do that, I would like to know why you do it differently than I do. Would you be willing to share that with me, educate me? Most people are going to oblige. Be willing to learn, be willing to open yourself up and even if you completely disagree, if it’s not your spot, swallow your pride or be willing to let things fall a little bit and honor the wishes of the people that you’re around.
That’s all for today. I want to thank you for listening. This is probably a short run, I don’t know, I want even looking at the clock. I just figures that I would ramble, hopefully the audio quality is decent, I’m about to pull off the highway and get some fuel because I’m still a long way from home. I hope you all have a great day, a great week, great weekend. Whenever you’re listening to this, whatever it is, I hope you’re having a good time.
If you want to check out what we’ve got going on, whistlekick.com if you want the show notes to this or any other episode, that’s whistlekickmartialartsradio.com I’d love to hear from you, why don’t you go ahead, email me, email@example.com or you can find us on social media, we are @whistlekick in every spot that you could possibly imagine. Thanks for tuning in today, until next time train hard smile and have a great day.