Are you biased?
Of course you are! So am I. We all want our little slice of truth to hang our hats on, but our biases cloud the judgments that we all make, whether we like it or not. And in a field of study like martial arts, where there is little scientific study, lots of folk tradition, lots of oral history, and lots of ego, biases are very common. One school has this secret that unlocks the “Truth,” and another school has another secret. And so on. And much of it is good information, but lots of it is absolute bunk! I’ve seen lots of people who fall over for secret ki techniques that, unfortunately, only work on members of a particular school.
In other words, their instructor convinces the students that these techniques work, so they do. On the other hand, students need the techniques to work; they need the truth that instructor offers, and/or are afraid to say “I don’t believe you” or “that doesn’t really work.” Sometimes this is because they are sheep; at other times, it is because the instructor will physically hurt anyone who questions or challenges their truth. This is no way to train. An instructor who knows his or her material should welcome challenges, not fear them. I look at these challenges as a learning opportunity for me. If I’m wrong, then I change. Lots of instructors miss out on these opportunities, and the knowledge they present, by shutting down students and making them afraid to talk or ask questions.
Check out this interesting article for more information on some of the biases that can throw us off in martial arts and in life!