Do You Welcome Questions?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Gwai Lo Dan, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    FWIW, I disagree. No one knows everything. If an instructor does not know the answer they should say so, and tell the student they need to research it and get back to them. I have seen the best and most knowledgeable in the world do this.
     
  2. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Generally, I welcome questions from students. I caveat it because if you're too open, you get the "what if monkey" going on, and they'll what if stuff to death, and some students have been known to ask questions to avoid actual training. Also, when I'm in the student role, I get frustrated when someone asks a question that completely derails what was going on. For example, a grandmaster was once talking about some material he rarely showed or discussed, and someone asked him about what amounts to a parlor trick, completely derailing the discussion. The grandmaster didn't return to the topic, possibly because he decided if they didn't care to listen, he wouldn't bother to share it.

    One question that's always welcome is "I didn't understand the directions; what am I supposed to do?"
     
  3. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Curiously enough it was on this very form as part of a response to a posters query I suggested that the poster ask their instructor a question.

    The poster was ... shall we say peeved... that I was insulting the instructor by questioning them. (Who was I to do such a thing!)

    So, it seems there is still an atmosphere in some places where students do not feel as though questioins are welcome.

    Certainly there are right and wrong ways to question.
     
  4. Thousand Kicks

    Thousand Kicks Green Belt

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    One should also consider the attitude in which you approach the instructor. Typically assistant instructors are subject to questioning more than head instructors. I consider it the substitute teacher mentality. I have witnessed students question a drill or technique with the purpose of making somebody else look stupid or like they don't know what they're teaching. Obviously, this is never appropriate whether before, during, or after class. I have also witnessed instructors pull the "don't question me" attitude when asked about drills or techniques. If you can't explain at least the fundamentals of a technique, you should reconsider teaching it in the first place.

    Questioning is never wrong as long as the purpose it to get better and gain knowledge. A student may ask a question in a way that makes the instructor dig deeper into a technique. This is great because both parties can learn.

    There was a time when I studied Aikido. After the first few classes I told the instructor I studied TKD and wanted to know a little about how Aikido approaches defense against various kicks; to this point we had really only practised against hand techniques and grabs. The instructor agreed, we had some discussion about techniques then he asked if I wanted to do some light sparring/randori. It was a good experience because I got to see some techniques outside of canned drills; this showed me the instructor understood his art and could apply on the fly. I also think the instructor saw that I wasn't looking to establish TKD as the superior art or imply that Aikido was useless.


    If you are willing to humble yourself in the search of knowledge, most instructors will gladly help you.
     
  5. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    Let me ask a question? So you believe that martial arts training is not suitable for self defense? Did I read that right?
     
  6. hungryninja

    hungryninja Orange Belt

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    Absolutely. I think it helps the student understand the technique or exercise better (provided that my own answer is logical).
     
  7. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Originally Posted by Earl Weiss [​IMG] Perhaps the first issue is asking the "Right" questions.

    Just because someone cannot do a technique under certain circumstances does not mean it is unsuitabkle for all under every circumstance.

    If you only want to learn techniques suitable for self defense or combat you are wasting your time if you are taking a martial art. Do you ever train a punch pulling the opposite hand to the hip? Would you do this in combat or self defense situations?

    What is the stipulated purpose for whay you practice 1 step sparring in your system or gym?

    The failure of a technique under certain circumstances may teach how the technique needs to be used to be effective. Once a technique is learned in a static environment dynamics such as moving off the line of the attack need to be used while executing the technique as well as different stuations. An empty hand attack can be a substitute for a weapon attack.


    Let's just say your take shows the imperfection of written communication. Saying that if you only want to learn techniques suitable for self defense, learning a martial art is a waste of time does not mean martial arts does not have self defense techniques.
    The first big issue is that before a meaningful discussion can be had is that people involved in the discussion must agree on how terms are defined. Otherwise it is like trying to have a meaningful discussion while the participants speak a different language.
    There is no real consensus about what is and what is not a "Martial Art" An example I often give is some 25 years ago I met an Israeli who had been in the Army if he had learned the Martila Art of Krav Maga? He said "What "ART", there is nothing artistic about kneeing someone in the nuts."

    Peyton Quinn of Rocky Mountain Combat Applications training will often state that he does not teach Martial Arts.

    So, my point was really that there is much more to what we typicaly consider "Martial Arts" than Self defense, and if all you want to,learn is self defense, why waste your time learning all the other stuff?

    I supply the following link as afood for thought toward what is and what is not a martial art versus what a discipline geared solely fo combat might be.

    https://1c47d0f0-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites...FAm_8tEW3bejzBi_Vhnp2-qrQP4hJ-&attredirects=0
     
  8. Fritz

    Fritz Yellow Belt

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    I think this would depend on the school and instructor right? The school I practice at is quite small by most martial art standards- a head instructor, two junior instructors, and around ten students on any given night.

    Other than when the teacher is showing a technique questions can be asked any time by just calling the teacher over. Of course training time on the mat is limited so if it is a quick reply then that is ok, if the question requires a bit more it may be saved for after class.123
     

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