Every experienced martial artist walks with a few knives in their back, the experience either weakens them or makes them stronger. If you talk to any of them they could tell you stories of betrayal, long term students leaving and trying to steal students, of dirty politics, lies and rumour mongering. The further up the ladder they climb, the more they get, but equally, the more true they stay to the values of the arts and philosophy the stronger and better friends and students they keep. I’ve had all of it, right down to various political conspiracies, failed ‘contracts’ taken out on me to being falsely ‘put in the frame’ for the M25 murder that Kenneth Noye was eventually found guilty of simply because I had a club close by on that night and someone thought they’d take advantage of the fact.
Liars cheats and thieves are threatened by skill, honesty and truth. So never be dragged down to their level, always keep your values and standards and truth will always come out in the end. This is how we are changing martial arts for the better, by being who we are and never being distracted or lazy. Time is the biggest weapon we have, as smoke and mirrors are hard to maintain. Truth just is – and it’s always there for those that seek it.
— Steve Rowe