Friday, 16 April 2010

The dangers of LSD

A friend of mine used to manage "up and coming" bands while he was in university. We were having a chat, when he pointed out a new band he was working with.

"See the guy in the denims?" he asked, "I'm looking for another singer. The rest of the band hate him. He's got a serious case of LSD."

I thought the guy looked stone cold sober and said so. I then discovered that in this case the acronym "LSD" stands for Lead Singer's Disease.

Lead Singer's Disease is the fevered ego of the frontman that gets inflated by the never-ending adulation of fans. People with LSD are a constant annoyance and embarrassment to the rest of the band, with their pompous diva antics. LSD (often fuelled by real drugs) is the main cause of perfectly decent bands splitting up at the height of their careers.

So what has this got to do with martial arts? I hear you cry. As teachers we are performing to groups of students very day. Not only that, we are constantly demonstrating how tough and clever we are with all these self defence techniques we have learned. It is easy for untrained students to become impressed, and we can find ourselves being raised onto a small, dojo-sized pedestal. That's the beginning of LSD. We may not be lead singers, but as soon as we start to believe the hype, the disease will strike.

When planning your class, if you are thinking "how can I impress them today?", then you are coming down with LSD, and you are on a slippery slope that may end up with you injuring yourself, one of your students or driving away your class. People aren't stupid. They can spot a teacher who is on an ego trip a mile off.

The best masters I have known all have one vital ingredient.... humility. Couple humility with tolerance and respect for others, and you will not get LSD. If you value an honest and mutually rewarding relationship with your students and peers, practice humility. You will be rewarded with genuine trust, respect and honour.


soundhunter said...

I think it goes both ways, as a sometimes tudent of this or that, I have to curb the tendency to put that teacher on that pedestal. Great article.

(soundhunter on twitter)

Anonymous said...

Great post. I do have one quibble though. It seems to me there are legions of people who *can't* spot an ego trip a mile away - either that or for some reason they are happy to support such people on their ego trips. Eager followers, or maybe 'LSD codependents.'

Richard Northwood said...

Hi Serpentstaff,

Yes, I hadn't considered the mutual delusion that happens when a teacher fulfils the students fantasy.

I have been addressing this in previous posts.

Perhaps the subject of another article. :-)

Kind regards,