Shudokan Martial Arts Association Examines Social Contracts

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michimich -- Between martial arts teachers and their students, a social contract exists. The contract—mostly implied, sometimes written down—goes something like this:

As the teacher, I agree to give you, the student, the absolute best training opportunity I can give you. I promise to offer the complete martial art I know, including all its best aspects: physical techniques, theories of physical power, mental strategies, cultural aspects, and any spiritual benefits that are part of the art. I promise not to deceive you with martial arts mumbo-jumbo, and I promise not to falsely build up your self-esteem without providing any basis in real martial arts skill. I promise not to ask you to pay absurd dues rates, but will ask you to pay a fair rate in keeping with the expenses of the dojo and my need to earn a modest living. I won't give you a black belt unless you deserve it, but at the same time, I won't unnecessarily prolong your journey to black belt by making the standards impossible. I will try my best to help you develop—mind, body, and spirit—so that you can excel in the dojo and in life.

As the student, you agree to attend classes as often as you can, putting forth all your effort, and practicing with energy and a positive attitude. You promise to consider the teachings I put forth, taking time outside of class to think about the relationship between my words and the techniques of your martial art. You agree to practice safely to help prevent injury to yourself and other students. You agree to pay your dues on time and agree not to take advantage of our policies to help you avoid paying a fair dues rate. You agree to work hard to learn your art and to trust my decisions about when you are ready for promotions. You agree to commit yourself to the learning process and to pass on the positive lessons you learn while at the dojo.

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If you want to join a Japanese karate association (, call SMAA at 734-720-0330 or fill out our contact form.

About Shudokan Martial Arts Association: SMAA was founded in January 1994 by a group of martial artists who were concerned with promoting and safeguarding Nihon budo and koryu bujutsu--the traditional martial arts and ways of Japan. SMAA is a non-profit that aims keep the spirit of traditional budo alive in the West. Anyone can become a member, even if you aren't a martial artist, and SMAA members are from multiple countries across the globe.

Nicklaus Suino

Source: Shudokan Martial Arts Association

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