The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Trick on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:29 pm

greytowhite wrote:
phil b wrote:Ha ha… you seem a little sensitive. Not exactly noble eh.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-revi ... 1499122519

Yeah he is a little sensitive - our e-mail exchange after I posted this review was rather funny to me. Almost immediately Jonathan asked me to change my star rating so he wouldn't have to worry so much about a drop in sales. Later, he asked me to remove the review entirely because his sales were hurting. A second, updated edition is not a bad idea. I tried to give it to my local library but they were just going to sell it. I've since passed it around to a few of my local practice partners and almost everyone says the first part is almost unreadable.

Wow, not that I had any intention to buy any book from this "author" but now it's really set in stone
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Appledog on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:29 am

charles wrote:
Appledog wrote:Lol, no it doesn't.


Yeah, it does. Big time.



I disagree.

charles wrote:Whether or not Mr. Bluestein's book is a help, a hindrance, or neither, I can't say. I can say that the rhetoric surrounding it makes me shutter and decreases the likelihood that I would read the book. Each to his or her own.


I think you should be able to say -- he has written a book previously which (seems to have been) well-received -- at least by KEND.

I am not really going to get into this with anyone here -- just pointing out it seems a little hard on a guy who is trying to make his way in this world. It seems that the only complaint here is that he is promoting himself.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Bao on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:59 am

greytowhite wrote:
phil b wrote:Ha ha… you seem a little sensitive. Not exactly noble eh.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-revi ... UTF8&ASIN=<a href="tel:1499122519">1499122519</a>

Yeah he is a little sensitive - our e-mail exchange after I posted this review was rather funny to me. Almost immediately Jonathan asked me to change my star rating so he wouldn't have to worry so much about a drop in sales. Later, he asked me to remove the review entirely because his sales were hurting. A second, updated edition is not a bad idea. I tried to give it to my local library but they were just going to sell it. I've since passed it around to a few of my local practice partners and almost everyone says the first part is almost unreadable.


Your review doesn't say that parts were unreadable. And I don't think it was a totally negative review. It was a good and honest review that clearly described what it was all about. It could very well result in sales if people who are interested in parts of it reads it.

However, I wonder how the content of the new book is related to it's title. I would like to see a content description. It's usually available on Amazon.

charles wrote:Many would just dismiss that rhetoric as "pimping". If one wants to be seen as "serious", or "academic", one avoids that sort of rhetoric.
...
Academic works are held to a higher standard, one that requires an impartial, objective perspective. Language such as "novel", "exceptional ideas and solutions", "guaranteed" aren't often found in academic works.


Exactly! 8-)
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Bao on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:01 am

Appledog wrote:It seems that the only complaint here is that he is promoting himself.


If you think so you really don't get it.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Appledog on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:40 am

Bao wrote:
Appledog wrote:It seems that the only complaint here is that he is promoting himself.


If you think so you really don't get it.


The author is a martial arts teacher. I've been a teacher myself for at least 20 years now, as I had mentioned earlier. What makes you think I (or the author) don't get it and you do? Even if you were a martial arts teacher it would just come down to personal experience vs. personal experience. Which is exactly why the book is interesting, even if only as a lighthearted look into the personal experiences of another martial arts teacher.

Maybe you're thinking about this too much.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Bao on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:11 am

Wow.

Appledog, I didn't say that you don't understand teaching. I said that you don't get the critique.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Appledog on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:13 am

Bao wrote:Wow.

Appledog, I didn't say that you don't understand teaching. I said that you don't get the critique.


I don't :/
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Bao on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:38 am

Appledog wrote:
Bao wrote:Wow.

Appledog, I didn't say that you don't understand teaching. I said that you don't get the critique.


I don't :/


And I don't get why you don't. It's very simple and it has already been said above. It nothing wrong to write a book about your own experience as a teacher and about what works for you. But if you claim that your own view to be more correct than common teachers or that you are a better teacher than many other teachers, you should first back it up someway and not expect people to buy your book just because you say you are. And as Charles says, if you want to be accepted as a scholar or an academic, you need to first behave as one.

So you need the ability to back up your claims and even if you promote something hard, you need to show honesty about who you are and what you sell. Otherwise people won't take you seriously. (And if you answer serious questions about these things by acting pompous or arrogant, people might even start laughing at you. :P )

If you don't get this, I can't do any better job explaining it for you. :)

As you asked about my teaching, I can be perfectly honest about it. I hate teaching and I am probably one of the worst teachers there is. I started teaching Tai Chi when I was 18 years old and had my own group back then. I was lousy at teaching so I stopped teaching. I started again when I was 25 with another group and sucked again but kept the group for a few years. When I teach, I am unfocused, I don't how to explain things in words, I don't know how to correct people and I follow no special curriculum. And it's a very selfish way to teach, because I only do what I think is fun to do for the moment. So I couldn't care less about how any other person teach or what they write about teaching. :)
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby charles on Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:37 am

Bao wrote:And I don't get why you don't... if you claim that your own view to be more correct than common teachers or that you are a better teacher than many other teachers, you should first back it up someway and not expect people to buy your book just because you say you are...if you want to be accepted as a scholar or an academic, you need to first behave as one.


I also don't get why you, Appledog, don't get it.

Mr. Bluestein's first language is not English. Even those whose first language is English benefit from having their work edited for style, content, continuity, grammar, etc. In his early articles, I had respectfully suggested that his work was in need of editing. He shrugged it off as being unnecessary. As a result, in my opinion, his published work is "unrefined".

Mr. Bluetein started teaching, if memory serves me right, less than five years ago. At that time, he wrote here, relatively extensively, of his trials, tribulations and experiences. At that time, at least some here commented on his teaching methods and philosophies being too invasive and over-bearing, some stating that they would never study with a teacher who made the personal demands that he makes of his students. Now, a few years later, he writes a book about how to teach. He makes grand claims about his methods and guarantees his book will provide new, unique, valuable pedagogic methods. That tugs at credibility.

Parts of his first book were discussed here. Some had criticism of its content and methodology. In particular, some took exception to his attempts to categorize each Chinese martial art, many he had never studied. Some raised the issue of how qualified he was to attempt such a categorization without ever knowing or studying those arts. Some felt it arrogant for him to assume he had sufficient knowledge and experience of these arts to put forward, for public consumption, such a broad categorization. (I view that as a disservice to the arts he's attempting to write about, and to less knowledgeable readers who might be mislead by the poor categorizations.)

Then there is the Wikipedia entry that Mr. Bluestein insisted on creating for a now-deceased teacher he never studied with. The teacher's students stated that their teacher was a private man and did not believe that their teacher would want their teacher's life publicly on display. Mr. Bluestein described the situation here and asked for advice on how to prevent the teacher's students from repeatedly changing his entries to the Wikipedia entry. Each time he changed the entry, one of the students would change it back. At the time, I asked Mr. Bluestein why he felt it necessary, against the wishes of the teacher's students, to create that entry about a teacher he had never studied with. He replied, in essence, he was doing the martial arts world a service by creating the entry. When I asked why he felt it necessary to keep changing the entry back to what he wanted, rather than the student who kept changing it back, he stated it, essentially, had to be his way.

If you chose to see it, there is an establishing pattern here, a pattern that does not provide academic credibility to this author. It should then come as little surprise that his work isn't warmly accepted by some here.

It isn't my intention to insult Mr. Bluestein, only to explain why I don't regard very highly his "academic" contributions as an author. I'd hope that he consider that opinion, as well as that of others here, to improve his research and writing. In the past, he has ignored it. That doesn't make me want to rush right out and buy his latest contribution.
Last edited by charles on Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Steve James on Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:46 am

Well, academic writing is usually impersonal. So, in terms of writing a book about teaching, the first question is the intended audience. Then, once produced, the next question is whether it succeeds. That starts with reviews. The book is sent out to peers who read and give their feedback. They might suggestion additions or deletions. When done, they're often chosen to put their comments on the inside cover. Someone would be chosen to write an introduction. If he thought that reading the book would be important to others, he would say so then. That's where all the superlatives would be.

Otoh, a book about someone's personal experiences teaching, if only for a day, aren't held to any standard other than that of any reader. Sure, if the intention is to improve sales, then use the critiques to improve the marketing. This doesn't mean that criticisms of the author are or aren't valid. The point is that criticism (and peer review) are normal processes, in academic and popular writing.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby wayne hansen on Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:48 pm

The fact is JB sets himself up as a bit of an expert
His recent comments on how good his mate from Germany is at wing Chun and why his collaboration with Sam chin will be a success
Yet his recent clip on short stick is pretty low level by any standard
It is not about age
We can't praise everyone and accept them as experts because that only leads others down the wrong path
In today's world everyone is an expert who feels they need to lead others
This path is leading to the devolution of martial arts
When I started teaching I did not want to it was my teachers choice and I did it out of duty
Today those who are just starting seem to want to be leaders before they learn to follow
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:09 pm

Appledog, thank you for your positive, honest and brave comments in light of harsh criticism. I appreciate your personal integrity. It takes character to stand up to people as you have done.

We all have a life to live and choice of how we go about it. I have chosen to lead mine without unnecessary conflict. My books, articles and videos speak for themselves. Those who like them, do. Others, do not. It is pointless to argue over such things with people, especially strangers whom I have never met or befriended. I have put my work out there for years and shall continue to do so.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby chimerical tortoise on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:59 pm

jonathan.bluestein wrote:We all have a life to live and choice of how we go about it. I have chosen to lead mine without unnecessary conflict. My books, articles and videos speak for themselves. Those who like them, do. Others, do not. It is pointless to argue over such things with people, especially strangers whom I have never met or befriended. I have put my work out there for years and shall continue to do so.


If "unnecessary conflict" means you don't like responding to people with valid (and for the most part very well-meaning) criticisms of your books, articles, and videos... then I have a new Chinese idiom for you. 掩耳盜鈴。

You used to post like an enthusiast rather than someone who is evidently only on RSF now to pump up internet traffic for your products... I might not agree with you very often but I respected that enthusiast for his idealism and eagerness to learn. Now you only post to self-advertise.

Come on, buddy... live a little nuh?
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby AIY on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:45 pm

I don't know Sifu Bluestein, and I don't have a dog in this fight, but the focus should be on what's in the book, not what you might or might not think of the author. The question isn't who Sifu Bluestein thinks he is or what makes him more qualified than someone else. The question is whether there's something in the book that's worthwhile for its intended audience. So if we can discuss that instead of going off on all the sidetracks that don't have anything to do with the book, this thread would be much improved.
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Re: The Martial Arts Teacher - a new book

Postby Ian on Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:33 am

chimerical tortoise wrote:You used to post like an enthusiast rather than someone who is evidently only on RSF now to pump up internet traffic for your products.


+1
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