Friday, May 19, 2017

FACE-OFF FRIDAY: Does Lineage Matter?


One thing we in the martial arts talk a lot about is lineage.

That is, who our teachers were, who their teachers were, and the connections we have to influential or important martial artists and martial arts teachers.

This is a lot like how people will look into their own genealogy and try to trace their families back to someone famous or important, isn't it?

On the one hand, having a documented unbroken line of teachers to a "big name" in the martial arts implies that a person's studies are legitimate, trustworthy, and true.  It definitely has more cachet in our world that just studying from Joe Blow, who's a good fighter but doesn't have a lineage to speak of.  For example, your teacher being a direct student of Bruce Lee's is pretty impressive, isn't it?

On the other hand, though, it doesn't mean they can use what they've learned in any effective way.  It's sort of like claiming that a person's grandfather being a famous warrior makes the grandchild a famous warrior too, without having gone to war.  There are plenty of good teachers out there, teaching useful things in the martial arts, without having any kind of lineage to speak of.

I want to know what you think about this: