How do you maintain a high standard of teaching and values in the Blue Jade Martial Arts schools?
The entire curriculum and philosophy of Tong Bu Dao are meticulously documented in several books written by shifu Jonathan Bluestein, the founder of Blue Jade Martial Arts. Some of these books are public, while others are shared only with members of our organization. Very few martial arts groups worldwide are as organized.
Politics and unscrupulous behaviour are a big problem in the martial arts. In Blue Jade schools, we enforce a high and strict moral standard for all members, and especially teachers. As specified elsewhere, whoever wishes to become a fully-participating teacher of Tong Bu Dao in the Blue Jade family, needs to undergo an intense teacher's course. A major component of the course are the subjects of ethics and etiquette. Fortunately, thus far we have never had to deal with any teacher who strayed from the path in any way.
The most important and crucial precaution we undertake to ensure the quality of our members, is the traditional model of discipleship. Once a person has fulfilled the requirement for becoming an Instructor (Laoshi) - level 10, he may 'enter the gate' by a special ceremony, to be initiated into the Blue Jade family as a Disciple (Tudi) under his Teacher (Shifu). While the ceremony itself is public, the comprehensive list of requirements for becoming a disciple is revealed to a student only a few months before his initiation. On that list though is nothing financial or personal. It solely tackles the need for a person to be of upright moral character. The reason that the list is not publicly revealed is to prevent people from faking their behaviour in the years leading to their initiation, to match the requirements on the list. It is expected that a person learn to be morally upright on his own, with his teacher's guidance, and not based on a list of requirements given to him or her. Also, as the list includes a type of test of character for students which needs to be assigned to them without their knowledge. Because that list of requirements for discipleship is a great indicator for people who are noble of character, and being initiated as a disciple is a requirement for becoming a Teacher (Shifu; level 12) of Tong Bu Dao, the risk of having to deal with problematic people is greatly reduced.