Enough experience to teach? Yea or nay?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Oni_Kadaki, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There are some practitioners with much less training and certification than you who have become excellent teachers and created lasting martial arts. (Think Helio Gracie and Bruce Lee.)

    There are other practitioners who have much more training and much higher rank certification than you who couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag and teach non-functional garbage. (Not going to name any names here.)

    I think a big factor will be your personal experience in applying your skills in a live situation: real fights, competitions, hard sparring against tough, skilled opponents. The other major factors will be your teaching skill and your willingness to keep learning and testing your material.

    As long as you are honest about your experience and qualifications, I don't think you have any ethical problems with teaching.
     
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  2. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

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    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you are really interested in teaching one day perhaps you should go out and finish a training course yourself. There is more to opening up an MA school than leading a class and showing them some techniques. A proper school should have a vetted curriculum that is overseen by someone that has had experience training others from the beginner stages of the art to the more advanced stages of the art over a number of years. I say this is important because even though my head instructor has several dans in Kyokushin he admittedly does not know everything. As we are part of an international organization, there is people that he can refer to should he come up with a question that he doesn't know the answer to. Having the access to these deep pools of knowledge can help speed up the process of learning an art properly instead of learning an art through only trial and error.

    Having been certified yourself also shows any prospective students that you are also willing to go through and complete a process that you are asking them to do. Leading through example is a quality that most students will respect more than if you asked them to do things you cannot do yourself.

    Finally, many people on this board and probably on many other boards as well ask students evaluating different schools in their area general questions as to the instructors background, organization they belong to as well as how the class experience was so I think it will only benefit you to finish a course on a MA that you are interested in. Again, I am not trying to dissuade you from opening up a school and teaching but I would say that your desire to do so is a great start and that any student that would want to learn from you would only benefit from your example should you allow yourself to finish a certified MA course.
     
  3. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    This all sounds great.... but what is your definition of "finishing a certified MA course?" I can go get certified to teach a few styles of karate, TKD, Krav Maga and Jujitsu and all it will cost me is a check that clears. What makes that any better than the training experience that he has? See the problem is that there is no regulation on the certification process. There is nothing stopping him from creating his own art, therefore being the Founder and Soke (Super Soke for that matter)... at which point, he gets to set the certification regulations to certify instructors to teach his newly created art.

    If he can get students, and they get what they are looking for, from his classes... great. If his stuff is terrible or if he can't teach, his students or lack thereof will bear that out. He has taught a few classes, things went well and he wants to continue that course. Thats great, I wish him well in that. The advice here has been to be open an honest about his own experience... While that is a good suggestion, and many of us think it is ethically right... there is nothing to stop him from becoming Super Soke, secret agent man, who has won secret underground fight tournaments while rescuing POWs around the world. Its happened. It will happen again.

    I will say again, he (the OP) sounds like he is trying to take the ethical route, and let people know of his experience, while creating a class where people can get what they are looking for.
     
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  4. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

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    I think I am doing my part in the politest way as possible to say, perhaps you should not turn yourself into a Super Soke head of an organization that you have created yourself because many of us have seen these types of schools and those folks are not held in high regard.

    If you want to open up a school and be successful, then do the best you can do to gain the knowledge that will be required to help your students progress in the style you wish to teach. You are correct about no regulations or anyone out there to validate the curriculum of many schools. I think we both agree that is a sad state of affairs and breeds mostly McDojo's that have little depth in what they are espousing.

    I commend the OP for wanting to teach but I think I should do my part to suggest that he follows a course to be certified in a MA before running the risk of founding a school that many of us would consider a McDojo.
     
  5. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    I am asking what qualifies, in your opinion, for a certified MA course? He is certified in MACP:
    For some reason you are not counting that as "following a course to be certified in a MA." If you don't accept that as certified enough in a MA... what do you require to be certified enough in a MA?
    If he is being honest about his experience and qualifications, I would not consider his school a McDojo. (it takes more than one offense to be considered a McDojo, but being honest about your experience and qualifications is not one of those offenses... at least in my book.)
     
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  6. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

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    I think we are stumbling on the word "enough". Enough is a relative term and that can mean many things to many people. Instead of using the word "enough" I suggested the OP follows a course to be certified in a MA that he wishes to teach. If he is open and honest about his qualifications, I am suggesting that in comparison to the other schools in the vicinity it may look like his knowledge base is insufficient to project a comfortable assurance that any time, energy and money spent under his guidance may not deliver on a prospective student's desire to learn a MA with any degree of depth in training.

    Of course it is possible that the OP is a gifted instructor that can take the knowledge he currently has and churn out students that can compete with other MA schools but that is fairly rare from what I understand. If it wasn't we would all be masters of our own styles and would not require years of training to grow our knowledge base and improve our techniques.

    Yes, I think it is important the OP is honest about his qualifications and I think we should be honest with him about his questions because although the pedigree of my CI is not the sole criteria for me to select a school I do want to ensure that the CI I am learning from has a long enough track record so that when I see what is being taught I can evaluate if this is the place I want to spend my time, energy and money in.
     
  7. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    He followed a course to become a certified level-1 instructor for MACP. Which you do not believe is enough certification to teach MA. How does Certification for a Level-1 instructor for MACP compare with him having a Black Belt from Wab25's Karate Dojo? (insert any martial arts school you find in the yellow pages here) Which certification represents more certification?
     
  8. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

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    Hey, there may be a huge desire for people to learn a Modern Army Combatives Program course in his area. If that is the case, then perhaps his certification will enough for him to run a school with students.

    I do believe the OP mentioned he was being hired by a local YMCA to teach a self defence course. Is the MACP certification enough to do that ? Your guess would be as good as mine.

    Now we are stumbling on the word "certification'. A certification is only as good as the certifying body. If the certifying body also not steeped in a deep knowledge of a particular art and doesn't use good methodology for producing and reproducing students that are 'competent' in their given discipline, how good is it ?

    If WAB25 wants to go to this school and learn from the OP, you will not find me dissuading you. You may or may not learn a thing or two but the chances are that the school will not have longevity or even be competitive for the amount of investment the OP has to make Is commensurate with the amount of training and knowledge he currently has. Note, these are not the only things that you need to be a good teacher or have a good school but without them the job of finding and keeping students that want to learn from you is made much more difficult without it, all things being equal.
     
  9. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    Yes, we are. You stated that he did not have the right certification to teach MA. (or rather you said he needed to actually go get certified in order to teach) Since you brought up the idea that he was not certified enough... I am asking you to share with us, how certified he should be. You brought in the idea that he was below the certification bar, so you should let us know where that bar is.

    His comes from the United States Army. They probably have more combat experience than your local dojo.

    Again, the US Army has probably produced more 'competent' students than most local dojos... at least, by their definition of 'competent.'

    Yes we are stumbling on the definition of "certification." But you brought up the idea that he was not yet "certified," and needed to continue to get that level of certification. Does he need a Shodan in Aikido? Does he need a Godan in Aikido? Does he need a blue belt in BJJ? Does he need a Sandan in karate? Does he need a combination of these? What would it take for you to say "Now, he is certified?"
     
  10. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

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    I think you may be reading more into what I am saying rather than what I am actually saying. If he wants to teach MACP and he is certified to have been through the course (not that he has been certified to teach, mind you) than he can surely put up a sign that says so. Will that be sufficient for him to have any longevity teaching SD at the the local YMCA, that would remain to be seen. Will the folks that certified him (The US Army) be happy that he has put up a sign and started teaching MACP I expect we would have to ask them if their course qualifies him to teach SD to a level that they would feel he is competent.

    i certainly agree that if he is in the US Army he will have more combat experience than most people from a local dojo. They should however I would also say that being a cook in the US army would probably give him more cooking experience than the cook at the local restaurant but does that mean he has all the cooking experience he needs to teach cooking classes ? Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. Hopefully he can teach folks what he learned as a cook but will that qualify his students to be anything other than cooks in the US Army ? If they are happy with that, then so be it.

    If I said he was not yet 'certified' to teach perhaps I misspoke. I was under the impression that I said his qualifications may not be deep enough for him to be able to produce and disseminate a curriculum that would be looked upon as competent from the standpoint of being a MA myself. It is not easy to teach. A teacher has some responsibility to their students. The students are spending their time, energy and money learning from the teacher so hopefully the resources they spend will be considered worthwhile after a period of time.

    The words "enough" and even "certified" are not necessarily adding to our discussion because of the problems I have already stated. If YOU feel that he has "enough" and is qualified to teach based on his certification than I suppose there would be others that think like you and he may have a good experience teaching at the YMCA.

    On a personal note, it saddens me to think that after taking a 40 hour course anyone would have enough knowledge and information to teach with anyone else with any degree of understanding but I am not the MA policeman of the world. What it would take for me to say he was certified is: We spent time training together so I could observe his technique in Kyokushin Karate. I would witness him take the test and see how he performed. Have the test administered by a high ranking black belt of our organization. Under those conditions I can say he is certified in Kyokushin karate. I wouldn't be qualified to say he was certified in anything else but I could probably say he was not certified if he hasn't finished any curriculum in any MA. I may be alone in this but I sincerely hope that I am not.
     
  11. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    Just looking at the arts he has studied for more than 1 year... he has 13 years of martial arts training. 7 of those years in a single art. Additionally, he has been certified as a level-1 instructor in MACP and dabbled in a few other arts. That is certainly enough training to cover the stuff seen in "Self Defense" courses. It sounds like he wants to continue teaching "Self Defense" courses and perhaps expand on the "Self Defense" course and teach his own personal set of "Self Defense" techniques. He is not talking about teaching Aikido or Kyokushin Karate... even he said he was not qualified for that. There are many people who go from nothing to instructor in less than 7 years. They could even have a black belt and instructors certificate from a world wide organization, with kanji on it and everything. Question still comes down to "How effective is he?" and "How effective is he at teaching?" You are right, we would have to really see and experience to find out. Apparently, the people who hired him, wanted him to continue and the students he had, felt it worth their time. Maybe he has something. I have seen many people with a lot less, be successful.
     
  12. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

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    Again sadly I must agree. There are lots of McDojos that are successful and probably have less time in training. Not to say that the OP would be considered opening a McDojo but I would prefer to get my instruction from a place that had some qualifications where the instructors are certified by a governing body that at least has a recognized standard of quality. Not to say that those things guarantee excellent instruction but it should give a prospective student a higher degree of confidence that they will be eventually competent in something should the finish the course.
     
  13. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Would your plan include promoting people through a belt system? If so that would eventually becomes an issue since you could conceivably have students higher than your current rank(s). If no belts and more of a self defense type class then I would say no worries.
    I would not lead my training sessions with my resume but instead teach the material you know. Think about building a curriculum to follow based on you experience and knowledge. The question of experience will inevitability come up so think about how you will answer it
     
  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, c'mon Tony, give me credit where credit is due. :D:D
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds to me that the OP has some useful material (if he learned it well) that could be useful to others (if he has a workable curriculum organized, and can teach). Nothing he has said implies he's on the super-soke path - which I agree should be avoided.


    EDIT: Something worth considering is the OP might want to find a good MA instructor who is willing to be helpful, and learn some lessons from them on how to organize a curriculum and teach it. In many MA schools, folks gaining instructor rank still don't really get taught this - they have to pick it up accidentally.
     
  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think WAB's point is that students don't know much about the certifying body, as a matter of course. If I offer someone certification to teach Shojin-ryu Nihon Goshin Aikido, that can't really tell anyone anything unless they have experience with me, or are familiar with the quality of instructors I certify (impossible, since I've not yet certified any). And as someone pointed out earlier (perhaps wab), students rarely - if ever - ask for certification. I've had a very few people ask my background (30+ years in my primary art, plus others). Those folks have never signed up. No actual student has ever asked for that detail, though some were curious about the background of the system. The only consistent interest in certification has been from places I was going to hold classes.
     
  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect the 40-hour certification is for folks who are well-versed in MACP. MACP is a dense, compact framework, so if you have the movements down (from training), then 40 hours may be sufficient for learning to teach. Think of that like an instructor candidate spending 2 hours a week for a few months learning to teach the art they know.
     
  18. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you are in the military much easier said than done, we get a wide range of experience in different styles but rarely the opportunity to stay for many years in one place.


    The OP did say 'fellow airmen' btw, in my mind you can never go wrong if you are in the air force ( preferably the RAF) but the American one is next best. :D Seriously though military courses in anything tend to be more intense that civvie ones so I imagine his qualification in a military martial art is going to be good whatever the grade says on paper. Instructing is encouraged too as training for further ranks ( military) so I'm pretty sure his instructing skills will be good, especially if he's been teaching colleagues, military people will soon tell him if he's pants.
     
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  19. Yokozuna514

    Yokozuna514 Brown Belt

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    I appreciate the time you took to respond to these posts but I must say I am a bit surprised that you feel a 40 hour course is sufficient to hang up a sign and teach other people SD in a setting like the YMCA. As a person who has trained their entire life to accumulate the knowledge you have in teaching your style it seems like you wasted your time as a 40 hour course would essentially give you the same qualifications to teach others as well as you do.

    There are probably plenty of students that do not care about who certifies the instructor. Even if they do care but cannot understand how to evaluate the certification, they may still join the classes and when they have spent a few years to learn more about the MA I am sure they will be very happy to realize that they too are just as qualified to teach a similar class after they spend 40 hours of time on the floor.

    If I understand you correctly, what is the point of dedicating your life to learn a MA if you can learn everything you need to know to teach others SD in a 40 hour course ? What would be the point of spending another minute on training after you completed the 40 hour course ? After you learned everything there is to learn in the 40 hour course, what is the point of staying with this instructor ? Where will they get new material and who will vet the material to make sure it is appropriate for the students being taught ?

    Last night I took a free kickboxing class with two of my daughters. The 'trainer' seemed to be a guy that took a course on how to be a kickboxing 'trainer'. I am sure he is a very nice guy and looks physically fit but I found his comments on how to do the work out quite 'interesting'. I was especially interested on how he was teaching me to punch, that I wasn't getting my body into it but I should continue to try but with less power ;) . He was trying to explain that I wasn't doing the correct movement for the workout but it came across as very unrealistic and contrived to fit the exercise.

    Hey what do I know ? I'm 52 and after doing a 53 minute workout I lost 837 calories and kept my heart rate up to 86%. I spent 1:35 in the blue zone, 32 sec in the green zone, 12:44 in the yellow zone, 15:55 in the orange zone and 22:16 in the red zone. Is that good ? No idea, no one thought to explain it to me at the end. Did I sweat and have a good time with my daughters ? Yes I did to both. Did I learn anything about kickboxing ? I learned that I do not punch correctly when I do hooks to the body and I do not block correctly ;) .
     
  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    @Yokozuna514 , I am not sure you fully read the OP's post. He has had more than enough experience to benefit from a 40 course much more than someone with zero experience. No where in his post was he belittling people who have put years and decades into their training. Much the opposite the way I read the post. It sounds more concerned with credibility and NOT stepping on the toes of people more experience.123
     
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