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Stone River Kung Fu
How to spot/be an incompetant master

Being incompetant does not mean that you suck. It only means that you give the impression of having a level of skill which you have not achieved. As such most people fall into this catagory.

Let us start with actually being an incompetent Master. Once again this does not mean you suck. Obviously noone wants to train under a teacher who is just pretty good. Sure, they can totally suck; but you have to be awesome. I can't begin to tell you the number of times I have been confronted by a potential student who wanted to train with my teacher instead. These people can barely hold their head up. They have no stance, no power; I mean who messes up "inhale, then exhale". These people are chumps who can't even see their own hands!

"Lift your left hand over your head."

" I did."

"Your own head. Your other left."

They think a master has the time to tell them complex details like," if you fall over then something is wrong". They don't want to build skill with someone who is willing to train them. They want the


!. But this is the start of an incompetent master. Ignorance and blindness are the key concepts to master. Ignorance of their own limitations and blindness to the skills of others. It is important to ignore all evidence of no skill. No matter how good, bad, or ugly your technique; you are just as good as the teacher. Why, it is amazing that you are not teaching yet. It must be a political thing.

To truly excel at this you must learn to lie like a rug. You do not lie for gain of money or power. You learn to lie in order to spot a fake! This is impportant. It does not matter that you saw a "master" put his hand through a pile of bricks. You read somewhere that it could be faked so he must have faked it also. If you can't do it then it is impossible. It is a waste of time to do that training. And my favorite - a brick doesn't hit back.

like the evil and flawed masters, the incompetent master teaches people to suck. The big difference is that the incompetent lies to himself first. The flawed master knows his limitations and can impart some skill. The evil master knows true skill and mearly withholds it. It is still possible to get real information from the evil. Just convince them that you support them and they will provide what they think you will need. The incompetant is limited by his teacher. The point at which the teacher threw up his/her hands and walked away is all you can get. The incompetent is limited by his blindness in skill and teaching. He can only say what his teacher said and only do as he was told. If you are lucky then he will duplicate all the training that he suffered through. If he is creative or made up his own style, then you are totally hosed.

It is important to remember that the incompetent is a MASTER. If he did not learn it then it does not exist. All other arts are just a few techniques and a big pile of lies. One skill that the incompetent is good at is faking skill. The incompetent knows all the tricks, scoring bricks, baking boards, the physical limitations of apparently strong things, and how to create illusions of anything. The incompetent always starts a technique out of range and then counters it after it is over. The incompetent always tells you what to do and then shows how easily he can defeat it. The incompetent is a master of saying "ready" and then moving just out of range before you move.

The biggest problem for an incompetent master is students. The incompetent is so sure of himself, has so much faith in his own ability, that students tend to flock to his school. These students listen to the incompetent as if he spoke the word of God. They practice, practice, and practice some more. They truly believe that their master is the best in the WORLD.

This begins the reign of suck.

As the student surpases the master, this usually takes about three years, the incompetent has a choice to make. He can choose to let the student run all the classes and represent the school, or he can hold back the students training. Hope he is old! If young and still full of ego, the incompetent will have to come up with a way to limit the student. If he chooses to lie then it is actually okay. The student is on his way to being a misguided master. He will still have more skill then his teacher but will be convinced otherwise. Many excuses will follow but the student will be told " that is enough, you don't have to go that far, or noone is that good". The student will get better over time but will refuse to believe that his teacher was wrong in anything. The skill will eventually max out at the level the student believes is the best he can do when compared to his perception of his teachers skill. This is okay as it is still skill and, as the memory of his original training fades, further skill will develop; if he keeps working out. The other direction the incompetent can go is to damage the student. If the student is lucky the master will simply point to ever more obscure details until the depression causes him to quit. If the student is unlucky, the master will give out special training. New maneuvers, advanced forms, usually something acrobatic, or something more "extreme". This training usually ends up causing some sort of injury to the student which is evidence that he wasn't ready to be a master. Now it is important to note that injury can come from the incompetence of the student, flawed information, an unknown weekness, diet, or overtraining. All of these need to be watched for but the teachers treachery is worse since the student blinds himself to it. The student will often injure himself over and over in an attempt to achieve the level of skill set by the incompetent master. I personally have met many young students who had bad knees. Of all the joints for martial arts to damage why are the knees such a problem. And why were only the best students getting this injury?

This is the worst master to be under. There is no way out. It is possible to find a skilled master in the same style who, hopefully, will correct you effeciently but it will be a long road. First any physical weeknesses will need to be reversed. Then any style weeknesses will need to be fixed such as stance work which works against power generation, punching in the wrong direction, or missrepresentation of core concepts. The snap kick is not named that because of the sound it makes. The snap kick is short, fast, and precise as if you were snapping a branch or arm bone; as opposed to a power kick meant to crush ribs or knock someone back ten feet. How many people do you know who do the snap kick with the knee locked so as to make that snapping noise?? Next will come the correction of all the forms and drills and the inclusion of things your master felt were "wrong". Just because someone doesn't understand doesn't make the information wrong. After this will be the level of training you should be at.

If you wish to be the incompetent master then you won't have been to this page. you will have pointed to a misspelling or gramatical error as proof not to read anything I do. You will be well on your way. If you don't want to be incompetent then keep in mind that your lack of experience will have kept you from learning anything too detailed and will be beneficial when it comes time to forget the incompetent information. If you have trained with multiple masters then you can average the training with your experience to remove most of the misstakes and lies. If you find a skilled master then the fact that the techniques work should be enough evidence for you to change your training. I personally was told that you should train as much as possible with as many people as possible to minimize mistakes and misunderstandings as much as possible.

If an incompetent is all you can find near you then keep in mind the limitations. What you can learn is limited to a mediocre psychology course. Addictive personalities, shaping, lies of omission, and leading questions are what you will learn the most.

This page has been visited times. This page was last updated Sunday October 17, 2004