“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships-and sealing wax- Of cabbages-and kings- And why the sea is boiling hot- and whether pigs have wings.” -Lewis Carroll.
…down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished or afraid. He must be a complete man and a common man, and yet an unusual man. He must be a man of honor- by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in in his world and a good enough man for any world. He has a range of awareness that startles you but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.- Raymond Chandler.
I am that man. A man whose past is shrouded in mystery. Whose future is unlimited by sanity. Whose present is unconstrained by normalcy. I am the Right Reverend Angus McIntosh, founder of the Temple of the Circus Monkey. And I will lead the revolution. I started this blog as a useful way to categorize earlier writings and give my overly busy head something constructive to do. I have opinions on everything from politics to religion, philosophy, pop culture, current events, and god only know what else. I am a Reverend, and I believe that I do interpret the word of God, or the Universe, or the Great Whatever. Complete ignorance of a topic won’t keep me from expounding on it with great authority. A brief explanation of the name. Behind every great oak tree is a nut that stood it’s ground. However, you have to avoid the squirrels! And there are a fuck of a LOT of squirrels that would like to eat your nuts to keep you from taking root and standing up. If I have to explain the metaphor, stop reading this and go watch a sitcom. Your mind has rotted. So now you’ve been warned. Enter my spiritual world at your own risk.
The Archbishop writes this blog for himself and he’s a nut. He didn’t require you or anyone else to read it. If you’ve found it through some strange happenstance, he thinks you should have the following warnings:
1- If you read this long enough you’ll find something you hate.
2- If you read this long enough you’ll find something you love.
3- The Archbishop is totally unconcerned with being politically correct. If you’re offended by something, please refer back to #1.
4- The Archbishop uses strong and colorful language. He might even include nekkid pictures. He’s an adult. Deal with it or get out.
5- The Archbishop frequently contradicts himself. He knows that his views all conflict with each other. So what. It’s his mind and he can run it any way he wants. As Emerson said, “foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. and Oscar Wilde said “Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” So there.
6- The Archbishop is an ornery pain in the ass. He’s not a nice person. And he’s NEVER wrong.
7-The Archbishop would love to know what you think but he disabled the comments section. If you have something to say just send him an email.
I’ve developed and taught youth programs for 30 years. They can be a great idea for kids but many studios are built on bullshit, marketing, and lies. Please consider the following :
Style and lineage doesn’t matter, good teaching does.
Most teachers have no training with children. They’ve never been in a classroom or worked with teachers or schools. You might not hire them as a babysitter. Get a CV or resume.
Most studios don’t do background checks on their teachers, something that every school volunteer must do. Think about that, and then ask.
Many kids programs are franchises, kind of like buying a McDonalds. They’re designed to maximize income and are about as healthy as McNuggets.
Too many studios are profit focused. There is no reason to demand a contract. Most of the fees are bullshit. Also trophies, patches and a lot of the equipment are just a profit centers and won’t help your child. A good school just charges monthly tuition of around $80-100 a month, period.
Watch for buzzwords like ‘self esteem’ or ‘discipline’ or ‘bullying prevention’. They’re mostly baloney. Your child might develop these qualities but no more than a good soccer or baseball program. If they’re being stressed you know the teacher is full of crap.
Sparring is fighting and learning to fight won’t stop bullying, it’ll just starts fights. Board breaking is just stupid. Confidence comes from support and success, not beating the crap out of another kid or a piece of wood.
Mystic martial arts bullshit is very deep. Enough tigers or dragons already. This isn’t the movies or ancient Asia. Avoid teachers who don’t seem to know that or demand too much ‘respect’.
A good school should stress the following things: Impulse control, conflict dynamics, balance, patience, centering, correct technique, and self protection. Class size matters just like regular school.
The real value of martial arts is the ability to function under the stress of attack and the confidence that goes with that. It can also give kids skills to help with transitions. Find a studio that knows this and can teach it.
I really hope this helps. Martial Arts are great for kids if you ask a few questions and make a good choice. You know, just like you do with the other things in your child’s life.