Experience...helpful but not necessary?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by StudentCarl, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    It could be because I am gun shy of how KJN has reacted to these lines of questioning in the past. He is very guarded about his past and his knowledge. I do not know who his instructor was, all I know is that he "joined" the Moo Duk Kwan in 1960's. I know that he had extensive training prior to "joining" but I have no idea from whom or in what style. At a black belt instructor class 10-15 years ago, my sahbumnim talked my father (the lowest ranking black belt at the time) to ask our KJN who his master was.. . With a very stern face, he said "KIM." and that was the end of the conversation.

    I know that he has "softened" with age, but I fear the tongue lashing that could ensue.. . I admit I'm gonna have to get over it and just ask, otherwise the knowledge may be lost in time.
     
  2. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    See i come from a different era, it took me 14 years to get my BB. At my school I have only promoted 9 people to Bb over the last ten years, my average student learns from a young age that a BB is more than knowing kicks and movement but also understanding the ntire curriculum that I teach. maybe that is why so many leave in a couple of years to other school to get there BB and than stop training, they only see value in the belt and not the material that is being tought.

    I am not perfect but everyday I sent myself up to be knowing I can never be. My students all understand that we do not care about belts and hey are a means to gauge where you are in your training and nothing else. I do relize that I am way off on 6-8 years to Bb and have been told if I want to get a money making machine than I need to change my approach and I see it as this if someone can come in here and learn everything in 2 - 4 years I would promote but seriously how many really put the proper number of time in grade. I see a guy who is a 1st dan become a 5th dan in three years, so once again people would rather take short cuts and achieve than actually achieve it by merit.

    I certainly understand what you are saying but for me I want age and rank along with wisdon and passion to train with someone. But like I have said before we can learn from everybody from all aspect of life and we should keep an open mind, even though my mind has been tainted over the years.
     
  3. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    In my small splinter of an association, it is a minimum of 3 years to earn 1st dan, and a minimum of 12 years to get to 4th dan (cumulative from white belt to 4th dan). I have been training for 25 years, and will be eligible to test for my 6th dan in 2014. No one under 5th dan tests their own students, and even then our KJN would rather everyone come to the association wide test held every 3 months. My father's circumstance of teaching prior to black belt and up through 4th dan was still contingent on his training under our Sahbumnim. The school was always considered to be our Sahbumnim's, not my father's.

    So my experience in this matter tends to follow your experience with the governance of the ITF.
     
  4. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    The era you speak of, although different in time, is not so dissimilar to that of my own experience. It took me 7 years to earn my 1st dan, and at 25 years of experience I am a 5th dan. The difference between what you are saying and my experience, is that a 1st dan knows only a very small part of the entire system. There is alot of the system that has not been taught to them at 1st dan, and much more knowledge is imparted to them as they go from 1st through 5th dan.

    I also agree, that age, rank, wisdom and passion is the IDEAL situation. The problem that I see, is that is rarely the case. Many times younger means more passion, older means more wisdom. Both have their value, but, IMHO, it is hard to have peak passion at the same time you have peak wisdom.
     
  5. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Four to six years would be acceptable. I was not promoting the idea, by the way, that a certified instructor should have a full seventeen years worth of experience or somehow mirror the teaching requirments of a public school PE teacher.

    My point was that to have enough experience to be both proficient in the art yourself and to have the technical skills needed to teach a class effectively, four to ten years is not unreasonable.

    Especially given that a good number of people feel that four years is barely enough time to be proficient enough to warrant a first dan.

    Daniel
     
  6. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    It seems to me that by-in-large, one of the biggest reasons it is hard justify any 1st dan having the experience and skill it takes to teach a class is the current divide between what many are calling "hobbyists," the traditional martial arts practitioner, and those who fall somewhere in between the two. If someone is SERIOUS about the art, I would think that 3-4 years could be enough to begin teaching. I don't think it is an ideal situation to own and run your own school with that little of experience, but I think one could competently begin teaching others at this point.

    It is one thing to memorize the tenents, curriculum, philosophy, techniques, etc. of a system, but it is another thing entirely to internalize, UNDERSTAND, and live it. Learning from someone who has only memorized the required criteria will not end successfully, in my opinion. A monkey can be trained to kick and punch, but understanding aspects such as martial philosophy is a deep level of understanding that can be a long road to enlightenment.

    Incidentally, I know I've been playing the devil's advocate here a bit, and I know this thread has kinda been all over the place. However, I agree with most all of you, and I really appreciate everyone chiming in on this discussion!
     
  7. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    How serious one is never seems to be the issue in time to BB discussions: four year minimum seems to be a pretty hard line for a good number of people.

    I'm far less concerned about martial philosophy and enlightement in my instructors. They're a nice bonus, but not what makes one a good teacher.

    A good teacher knows the system well enough to perform the techniques correctly (barring physical injury or some handicap) and to be able to tell someone else how to. This includes people with radically different learning styles. A good teacher can show you, explain it to you, physically direct you, or a combination of the three. You'd be amazed at how many subtle, little things are involved in sword work, and how much of a huge difference it makes if those things are either not taught or taught incorrcectly. And that is just sword work.

    A striking art like taekwondo will have a host of similar things as well. Slap on some add-on grappling and you have even more nuances to consider.

    I train in and instruct hapkido and kumdo, and trained in taekwondo for a very long time, and will say with confidence and authority that if you add a weapon art to your program and only have seminars or less than two years worth of experience, you are categorically unfit to teach that art. Any students you teach who start teachin g that art themselves will be even more unfit unless they seek real instruction.

    If you decide to add hapkido to your taekwondo program, unless you're just slapping on some basic grapples and escapes, you are likewise unfit to do so if your experience is entirely seminar based or is less than two years.

    That said, if you're going to slap on krav maga, the instructor had better have more than just an organizational six week certification program and had better have more than two years in.

    Daniel
     
  8. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    You are missing the point that I am making and getting caught up in 'my org takes this long and does that.' Kendo was only mentioned because it is a weapon art, and weapons was one of the add ons being discussed in the other thread.

    Time in grade to BB in TKD, from what I can see based upon personal observation of schools that I have visited and what I see posted on various sites, seems to be two years. No value judgement one way or the other. I have already stated my opinion about two years TKD BBs on other threads and fairly recently (raising some eyebrows in the process).

    For the sake of brevity, I will sumarize my response from the other thread:

    If most organizations don't even consider you to be a full instructor until fourth dan (which is a minimum of eight years experience most of the time), don't even pretend to be qualified to teach an art after a six week seminar or less than two years of training in said art. You don't have to be a fourth dan, but I would expect more two years of dedicated study in that art.

    Daniel
     
  9. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    That is my point, that now a days, many schools/orgs have that hard line, so it becomes difficult to recognize the merit of the instructor purely by rank. If it was a standard of Black Belt = SERIOUS, then it would make things alot easier. Instead, it is more and more Black Belt = 4 years (give or take) time in school.


    Going by my statement immediately above, this has little to do with rank and everything to do with observation skills, psychology (i.e. identifying/knowing/understanding the particular student you are teaching), and knowledge of the techniques. A black belt will only tell you one thing for certain; they've put in 4 years, so they should probably have a good handle on the technical part of it. Granted you should be learning these skills as you go, and partly it is a learn on your feet type of thing (you learn from experience). Certainly these are important skills to have as a teacher, and it is something that a yudanja curriculum should put focus on. I know that my association certainly does.

    I guess what I'm getting at, is that I see far too many black belts with 4+ years, sometimes 10+ years that never "get it." Some of them attain higher dan ranks too. I suppose there is nothing that can be done about this, and it is not something that is unique to TKD, martial arts in general or society. Look at the education system in the U.S., far too many teachers don't "get it," otherwise they'd probably be doing something else. Mainly because, in the U.S. we do not honor the teaching profession.




    Absolutely no argument from me there. BTW, I see you have experience in TSD. Who did you train under, if you don't mind me asking.
     
  10. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I agree, I think experience is everything, especially for the upper levels.
     
  11. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I would also distinguish with those who like to teach and those that do not. Most of my best teachers hated teaching. Or they rather be researching and training than teaching. I think those who enjoy teaching at the lower levels and take that route early develop problems later because they spent too much time early on teaching, and not learning or training.
     
  12. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Not keeping up with the changes is a form of "watering down". If you are a basketball coach and you are still teaching under handed free throw shots, is that considered watering down, or is that just not keeping up with the times?
     
  13. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    Very insightful observation, and a very good point!
     
  14. goingd

    goingd Purple Belt

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    Experience is not always an adequate reflection of actual skill level. I've met people who have trained consistently for well over a decade but still perform with a set of fundamentally bad habits in their techniques. Of course it is preferable for someone with the proper skill level (as reflected in his/her rank, hopefully) to lead classes. And hopefully these instructors can more effectively teach. However, for lower belts and beginning students, I see little harm in having an adept higher belt, but not a black belt, lead most or all of a class. Even for classes with higher belts, I would not totally revoke the idea of having a higher belt of equal rank to the others in the class lead part of the class, such as stretching, basic warm ups, and even a few technique routines, provided that he/she can do so effectively.
     
  15. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    While I see your reasoning for the analogy, I have to disagree with it in this context. I would not consider Shorin-ryu watered down compared to what Gichin Funakoshi "changed" into Shotokan. It is different but similar. You and I are different, but under the name Taekwondo, just as Shorin-ryu and Shotokan are different but under the name Karate.
     
  16. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    My daughter who is 16 almost 17 is currently instructing(forms)at a school under the supervision of the Master and my son has done allot of assisting with some instruction. They both teach and coach sparing. They are getting allot of positive feedback from parents(my daughter is strong on discipline and runs a tight class). Allot of parents like how they instruct and the kids respond well.

    They are getting a small following of kids who want to train with them in sparring. If you are young it can be a hurdle but if you know your stuff people will over look your age!
     
  17. auxiliary

    auxiliary Yellow Belt

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    I had this problem for a while and still do.

    I started training in martial arts when I was 4 and started teaching when I was 18. The first couple years of teaching was very hard. Hindsight I was no where near as good as an instructor as I am now, at the ripe old age of 26. However, it took that time and my instructor allowing me to teach and giving me feedback to help me make me the instructor I am today.

    I have seen many different instructors from many different organizations that didn't match up with their rank with their teaching skill. I have seen world champions that can't teach worth a crap. I think those experiences and milestones can help make you a better instructor but that alone doesn't make a great instructor.

    Some adults are disappointed when they come in and see me as the instructor. Usually after a class or two they change their minds. Some adults rather learn from a grandmaster or master or some super korean guy and that's fine. There are schools for them.
     
  18. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    Well, no, I wasn't doing that. I was pointing out that in my experience gaining a black belt in Taekwon-Do takes more time on average than what you stated and that reaching an official instructor level takes a fairly substantial time. It had nothing to do with "My org. does this, that org, does that."

    And, as I said, from what I can see based on my personal experience two years to I dan is not a common occurance. That was the main point of my post.

    Pax,

    Chris
     
  19. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    Out of interest, what problems would you consider common from teaching too much early on?
     
  20. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    For outsiders looking in or new students, age does play a part whether rightly or wrongly. I have seen new students seem a little 'sus' when their instructor is a 3rd dan 24 year old, but for some reason people dont mind a 40 year old 1st dan. Maybe people off the street walk in and expect to see a "mr myagi" style instructor.123
     

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