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Discrimination and Abuse of Rank in the Martial Arts

by George Mattson

Jacqueline S. Blackburn

If the knowledge and ‘power’ is abused, it can damage emotionally and spiritually those who have come for guidance and self-growth. We all need to remember that without mutual respect in all aspects of our dealings with others, our development and self-growth will be severely hindered in karate and in ourselves.

This abusive behaviour does exist today because I have experienced them. I have kept quiet and concentrated on acquiring the technical expertise and knowledge of some of these seniors. I recently passed the requirements for my Nidan rank and have acquired a new degree of self-respect and also a greater sense of responsibility to the women who have been hurt by this lack of respect shown to them in the past.

The goal of this article is to help inform people of the problem and help prevent the acceptance of this kind of behaviour. This article is not to discourage anyone from studying Uechi Ryu or any other martial art but to discourage the wrongful actions of the abusers. Being aware that this abuse exists will make people less likely to become a victim.

Jacqueline S. Blackburn Okinawan Uechi Ryu Academy Halifax, NS September 5, 1995

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