Houston Kajukembo Student Practitioner Responsibility
1. It is your duty to try your best without complaint. Good arts generally push your limits, so that what was intolerable before is not a problem now.
2. Always keep yourself clean and your workout clothes clean. If you come from work with dirty hands and feet, body, clothes, or clouded mind cleanse them before class.
3. Keep your nails short for both hands and feet. Nail scratches are hard to heal. It is to your strength to not injure your partners.
4. Keep your training area clean without being asked. The same goes for the dressing rooms and bathrooms.
5. Keep remembering the phrase "it's not what your country does for you; it's what you do for your country". This applies to martial arts schools as well.
6. Pay your dues timely. Set an example of appreciation. This is a sign of respect.
7. Always address your teacher with their title or any other practitioner with titles earned by training -- in or out of the school.
8. Remember the teacher's birthday with some small gift. The same applies to Christmas if that is part of our or their tradition.
Show you are a giver and not a taker.
9. Help other students to get better, this will improve yourself, and it is an obligation of a senior practitioner.
10. If you visit other schools, always show the utmost courtesy and respect. How you present yourself is a direct reflection of your teacher.
11. Never ask to spar when visiting a school. This is considered a challenge and most likely this will not end well for you and the martial bond of respect is broken. This is for both students and teachers.
12. Never spar to beat on someone. Trying to hurt your partner looses dignity. Spar to test yourself, not prove yourself to your partner. Help your partner if they have a skill level lower than yourself. This strengthens your martial integrity.
13. If you want to train in another school, copy their traditional practice. Never show your skills no matter how skilled you are. Go there to learn and not to show. Empty your cup of tea.
14. It is proper to ask your teacher for permission to train in other schools. If you are quitting your school, it is proper to notify your teacher and thank them for their training. Never burn your bridge. Leave on a positive note whether you are happy with the training or not. Even when the teacher might show non-martial or ethical traits, you should never counter. Simply remove yourself with dignity and an appreciation of the positive things they have taught you.
15. When you are being shown new moves in forms or techniques, never go beyond where the teacher takes you, regardless if you see it's a piece of cake or not. Forging ahead without the teacher's instruction or okay tells the teacher that you don't need their instruction anymore. Traditional teachers will pull back immediately from your breach of instruction.
16. Bowing: It is better to over bow than to under bow. Bowing is about respect and not about bowing down to someone. Bowing is like the American handshake, except that respect and honor is why you do it and not money. Your respect and appreciation is shown by bowing as you; a. Go in and out of the school, bowing to your teacher in and out of the school, as well as for senior students.
b. If you are late to class, bow when entering the training area and then bow separately towards the teacher, whether they are facing you or not. Some schools do require the teacher to see you directly; I personally do not.
c. If you have to leave a class early, let the teacher know in advance of class. When it is time to leave, bow to the teacher, then bow out of the training area.
d. If you have to leave during a class because of sickness or injury, discuss this with the teacher and then bow out properly.
17. Chronic injuries should be treated before class, and minor injuries during class should be toughed out. However, the teacher should recognize an injury that should be treated immediately, as well as the student recognizing it. Students need to ask the teacher for permission to treat the injury. Sometimes immediate treatment is valuable for it allows the student to not miss training to heal something that could have been treated initially. Students need to feel assured that the teacher holds their best interests for health. If this is not the case, I personally would not train under that teacher.
18. When the class is supposed to start at a certain time but the teacher is late, do not just stand around like black birds. Your obligation as a student is to dedicate yourself to train. Do not wait to be led. Start your training the minute you enter the training area, by stretching, doing bag work, forms, etc. This shows the teacher that you are there to train and do not need to be hand-fed. Cherish instruction, for it is the topping on the training cake and a privilege.
19. A student's dedication to their teacher, school, or organization is based on trust, respect, love, and honor. At times you might feel that your teacher borders on ethical rightness. It is important to recognize the difference between a difference of opinion and an outright breach of ethical standard in or out of the school. If you feel that an ethical standard has been breached that unbalances your respect and trust, I personally would find another teacher, which is the students responsibility to not black mark their own honor and spirit.
20. It is the teacher's and the student's responsibility to feel assured that the rank and lineage of one's own teacher and their teachers have not breached the ethical code for rank. To train hard under a teacher or teachers that have assumed or made up rank 'black marks' your own hard-trained rank and festers like a disease that never lets go no matter how much time you put in the art. It is your responsibility to feel assured that your teacher is going to be your teacher for life, like a father or mother that has nurtured you in the martial art code for life. If this can't be assured, find a teacher that can be relied upon for life.
21. A student does not have choice about being ranked by their teacher. It might be slow, or it might be too fast. If it seems too ridiculous, don't train under that teacher. Once you reach Student Black level, you can reject rank honorably. Good teachers will honor this. Our particular school tests for all ranks so usually by surviving and passing a test, you truly feel you've earned it. Being ranked by a teacher who has assumed rank from the various rationales that they would use would blacken your own martial art spirit forever if you accepted rank from them. Now you become part of the fraud that your teacher started. If you have second thoughts about a rank (Black and ranks above) that you accepted, find someone in the system to go under and do you’re training to correct the situation. The 'right mind' is about training and not rank, which will clean your spirit. No fraudulent deception in any martial art endeavor will allow one to master an internal martial art, for one's spirit must be clean.