Black Belt Robert Price Comments about the Early Days of LOTUS, as well as Why no Book has been Written about LOTUS Self-Defense
I recently asked Robert Price, the first farang to test for black belt in Lotus Self-Defense, why he thought Ajarn Precha told all of the original students in Ubon that no books about Lotus were allowed to be published. Here is Price's response:
Ajarn Precha and all his first students wanted to ensure that Lotus was only learned in Thailand by Ajarn himself, not by reading about it or seeing it in a book. The grueling daily workouts and the not giving up and quitting were a very important part of earning the right to study Lotus. Training in Lotus was reserved for those in Ajarn's studio and under his watchful eyes, not by reading a book.
drop out rate in the American class was nearly 95% in the first year of Lotus in
1971. Sharing Lotus with G.I.'s that first year meant in Ajarn's eyes, we the
Americans had to earn the right to be taught by him. We had to earn respect
from Ajarn and it was not easy. We had to prove we were students who refused to
give up or give in. Ajarn wanted to see the Spirit of a true Warrior and he
only wanted Americans who were willing to train Muay Thai style. Many Americans
started but few continued. They just did not have the commitment nor did they
have the heart or the Spirit for the Lotus. This was especially true of my white
brothers. It was just too tough for them to stick it out. That is why 85% of
the first class was made up by my black brothers. They were willing to give
what Ajarn demanded of his students. Very few whites made it through the first
month. I left Thailand in February 1972. I heard more and more Americans were
starting to train with Ajarn, as he was well known by the G.I.'s by that time,
and the American students were soon financing a new studio.
Lotus is Thailand's only national martial art, accepted and validated by the Thai government. It's founder and grandmaster is one of Thailand's best martial artist ever known and a true master of his art of Lotus Self-Defense. No book was Ajarn's way of protecting and keeping the Lotus pure to its original design. I, as one of his first American black belts from his first American class, agree with him.