|I spent an interesting half-hour watching this Monk one day in Heiwa dori|
Unless you live near your teacher, how do you spend time with him/her? If you're serious you make the effort to visit them. You budget, and organize your life so that you have the time set aside to be in their company, absorbing what they have to offer. You do this on a regular, ongoing basis, not just once or twice. Alternatively, you can invite your teacher to visit you. If he/she is happy to do this, you have a great opportunity to show your sincerity by offering them hospitality as well as your diligent efforts to learn in the dojo.
The common reality of course, is that the visiting teacher is on an ego-driven junket. They expect to be wined and dined, paid attention to, and have their picture taken with lots of eager disciples. Oh yes, and all too often, they expect to return home with an outrageous amount of cash that they didn't tell the tax man about. Some folk get around this with PayPal these days; still, for many nothing beats the feel of folding money and the thrill of walking out the door with wads of it in their pocket.
Of course, the 'student(s)' play an important role in this kind of illegal behavior too; and make no mistake about it; deliberately entering a country on an incorrect visa, collecting money and evading tax is a crime...even when you do it via PayPal. With so many 'masters' travelling the world these days, it makes you wonder where they pay their taxes, and how much of their income goes unnoticed by the relevant authorities.
What's the harm? Well I think in truth there is very little harm done to the countries being denied their rightful taxes...but he's the thing; once you are happy to bend or ignore the law, you can no longer base your training on authenticity. You can no longer link what you do to the morals others lived by in the past. You can no longer make a claim on sincerity, being genuine, or any of the other high-minded human traits you use to establish yourself in the world of karate/kobudo. You may not be a 'criminal' in the general sense of the word, but you can no longer claim to be 'honest' either.
So...the next time your teacher comes to visit, check if they are travelling on the correct visa, ask if they are happy to share their knowledge without leaving the country with a bundle of cash, ask yourself why you invited them over in the first place, than ask yourself if the behavior of all involved was honest. Depending on the answers you get, you'll know if your 'thinking' is wrapped up in budo...or, like the majority of karate/kobudoka these days.....business!
As always...you have a choice!