Recently I got to hear many stories about an ill balanced martial arts instructor. The quality of his martial skill is beyond question. However, he has used this skill to control people, hurt people and divide his students.
I do not understand for the life of me why people would tolerate an abusive relationship - especially an elective one like in martial arts practice. Just as great a crime is to not step in a stop the abuse of one of your fellow students and friends. Many people in this school are forced to stop talking to their friends once the teacher casts them out.
Why do people practice under these conditions?
Dear great teachers - I don't care if fire balls and lightning fly out your butt, if you are an unpleasant person I have nothing to learn from you. Period.
The truth of the matter is that friendship is golden. My budo practice is surrounded by the most uplifting and supportive people. If you find yourself practicing with people who are not your truest of friends - stop. Go find what is golden.