Full vs. Part Time Teachers

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by MJS, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Theres a thread over at KenpoTalk which, from what I can tell, has drifted from its original topic and is now focusing on full vs. part time teachers, with at least 1 person saying that if you're not teaching full time, then the martial arts are nothing more than a hobby to you.

    So, instead of posting this in the Kenpo section here, I wanted to post it in the General MA section, so as to get feedback from people of every art. :)

    So, what is your opinion? Do you feel that if a teacher is teaching the martial arts on a P/T basis, that its nothing more than a hobby? Or do you feel that P/T or F/T, it doesnt matter...as long as he's teaching quality material and helping to spread the art, your 'status' isnt that important. By status, I mean ft/pt. :)


    IMO, I think the person over at KT thats saying that its a hobby, is wrong. Sorry, but not every teacher in the world, is capable or wants to run a full time dojo. I know people who own schools that run them pt, that have good programs. I know people that teach private lessons out of their basement or garage and they're quality teachers. Just because someone functions on a pt basis, doesnt mean they're any less passionate about what they do.
     
  2. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    It depends.

    If the Instructer is only Instructing on a Part Time basis due to other Commitments, such as Employment, Family Troubles, Obligations, or What Have You, then that is absolutely fine.

    If the Instructer is full well able to be Instructing Full Time but chooses not to, because he Cant Be Bothered, Doesnt Feel Like It, Wants More Free Time, or other things like that, then he perhaps isnt taking things too seriously; HOWEVER, it doesnt really affect whether or not he is good at Instructing.
    There are probably however, some Instructers who just "Dont Feel Like It", and thats a bit silly.

    Our Assistant Instructer for example, Instructs almost every Training Night; Almost every. Some weeks he just cant show up. And hes still a damn good Instructer.

    Just my piece.
     
  3. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for your feedback. :) For reference, lets say that pt is from 4 or 5 pm to 9 or 10pm. FT would include morning and noon time classes in addition to the night time. I have to wonder how productive it would be for someone to be open during the morning or noon time. At my last school, we offered noon classes, twice a week. I taught 2 of those classes a month. There were times when I was lucky to have 2 people. Basically, this person is getting a private lesson for free. I say free because privates are an additional cost to the monthly/yearly lesson fee.

    So the inst could still be very passionate, but not feel like it, as the return may not be that high.
     
  4. rlobrecht

    rlobrecht Brown Belt

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    Our school is only open in the evening, and has two locations. Our Kyosanim is a full-time college student, and a full-time instructor. He teaches six days a week, and is an excellent instructor. Our Sabumnim owns a daycare at our primary school, and while he does help out at it, he has a full-time manager and teachers/care-givers. He also teaches six days a week, and attends classes at another school two days a week (during the day.) I don't think that either of these two instructors are hobbiests. We do have a junior instructor at our school who is also a full-time college student. He teaches four or so days a week, but doesn't usually even attend our black belt class (as a student or a teacher.) Yes, I think its a job and a hobby for him. He's only been teaching for six months or so, but he's getting better.

    I don't think that full-time or part-time is necessarily any indication to one's dedication to their art. It's also not an indication of how well you can learn from them. BTW, I don't think dedication and teaching ability necessarily go hand in hand.

    Rick
     
  5. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    There are some MA that just are not popular enough for anyone to earn a living at. Every instructor I know who practices Iaido and jodo all have day jobs.

    That being said, of course MA is a hobby, even in 16[SUP]th[/SUP] century Japan the majority of the samurai trained as often as we do, they had other tasks to complete in the course of the day. You would have had to be quite rich or a well thought of teacher to have lived a life of only training.
     
  6. Jenna

    Jenna Senior Master

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    I think this is the real world and not an idealised fantasy. If a teacher has the werewithal to make it work financially for her or him then that is to be applauded. That in many cases, as Ken Morgan has said, if teaching is not economically viable then that is not necessarily a reflection on the commitment of the teacher or the quality of their teaching.

    If we could be carefree teenagers with zero responsibilities and parents who would fund a two year junket to Asia and bankroll our FT martial arts studio upon our return then sure, full time training and teaching is an option. For many of us, the need to live in the real world of families and mortgages precludes the economic viability of the enterprise.
     
  7. harlan

    harlan 2nd Black Belt

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    So..the clock watcher...does he/she detract the time he/she spends sleeping? Eating? On the toilet? Does that 'figure in' to this ego trip?

    The most wonderful realization I think I've had was when I understood that when my teacher stood in front of me, he was 'all there'. In that moment, at that time, I was the only thing in front of him, the only thing that mattered, completely focused on ME whether for that moment, the entire hour, or an entire lesson.

    Now I have a few people that show up to share my space for a few hours a week, and I do the same for them. I think instead of trying to validate the ego, 'I am XXX' by counting the hours in a day/week/lifetime...that one should focus on the Now. And when that student is in front of you, that is the most important thing, and you are a teacher in that moment.
     
  8. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    I think it depends on the teacher, and what he or she brings to the teaching. As has been mentioned, not everyone has the luxury of teaching as their full time job. I am quite certain I could not earn as a teacher what I earn at my current full time job. I am a Hapkido student. That is not a popular MA to be studied by itself. Most people's introduction to Hapkido is from their teacher of another MA, who knows a few techniques that are sprinkled in the with primary MA. But to study Hapkido as a primary art it not common, not even in Korea.

    So, I agree with what is said above about dedication of the teacher while teaching, and other life commitments dictating what a person's primary job must be.
     
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    A response to that could be if you are teaching full time then martial arts is nothing more than money to you.

    With that said; full time or part time does not matter it all depends on the teacher
     
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  10. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    I teach two nights a week ... along with working about 65 to 70 hours a week for the past year & year to come. Does that mean that once this project is over I'll teach full time? No... I have a mortgage, car payment, bills, etc... that teaching will not pay for. Does that mean I'm not a qualified teacher?? Pfah...

    Some people have the business skills & tenacity to make a living teaching full time. Others (like me) don't... for our own reasons. If I were teaching for a living, it'd be a poor living & I think I'd find myself looking for a job soon enough. Once something I enjoy becomes a chore or hassle, it's not fun any longer. Why teach if I don't enjoy it...

    Who cares what people think, full time vs part time? Tell them to get buggered. You have your reasons for teaching & running as you see fit.
     
  11. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm going to agree and disagree with this. I agree that many of us, unless we're pro fighters, dont spend 8+hrs/day, training. OTOH, I view a hobbyist as someone who does something every now and then, ie: a 1 night a week bowling or pool league, etc. IMO, I dont view a hobbyist as someone who trains 1-2 hrs, 2-3 times a week during class, in addition to training at home.
     
  12. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    This post deserves some rep!!! Agreed 100% with this!!!
     
  13. Ken Morgan

    Ken Morgan Senior Master

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    So for it to be considered a hobby it has to be no more then X hours a week? I agree and disagree also!! :) It's an arbitray number. To me unless we are using our art everyday to meet life challanges, its a hobby. Odds are very good that i will never have to use my iaido or jodo in "real life" on "the street", though some weeks i practice 10+ hours, is it still a hobby? I think it is, as I will never use it in "real life".

    A soldier in the forces is not someone who any of us would consider practicing a hobby, but what about those in the reserves who practice a day or two a week? Is that a hobby?
     
  14. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    The numbers are simply examples. A pro fighter...training to fight will most likely be his full time job. I mean, does Randy Couture have a day job? Dont know, thus my question. :) Perhaps its just a difference of wording between you and I. My view of a hobby is something done once a week. It could be once a week for 30min or once a week for 5hrs. My point is simply....its something done 1 day out of 7.

    I know people who train daily, some for an hour, others for more than an hour. That, IMO, isnt a hobbyist. It seems though, and I may be wrong, that you're saying that unless the person uses their MA training daily, for SD, then its nothing more than a hobby.
     
  15. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Just to add to my above. Ken, I assume you saw this, from my OP:

    Take note of the underlined part. :)
     
  16. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Just because someone trains more or teaches more does not mean they will be better. What does make someone more efficient at the Martial Sciences is when they practice and or teach with an eye for perfection. Meaning that training towards perfection and or getting better should make you improve. Yet, we all know that some people no matter the training time, teaching time will more than likely never be serious martial practioiners. In the end you either "have it" or you do not! In this world there are simply to many belt mills out there promoting a product that is not geared around being proficient in the reality of the Martial Sciences! Personally, I have met part time teachers that are simply fantastic and I have met full time teachers that fit this too. Unfortunately, I have met many upon many part time and full time teachers who should in all reality only merit "training" under a qualified instructor! (they should not be teaching anyone) This is one set of a group that in my estimation goes on to teach waterd down martial arts to future teachers and perpetually destroys what the Martial Sciences should be all about. This group unfortunately out numbers those interested in serious personal protection skills. They are more interested in teaching a product that will make them money and or if they are teaching for the love of it unfortunately they do not understand that what they are teaching is crap!

    Sorry to be so blunt! ;)
     
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  17. jthomas1600

    jthomas1600 Blue Belt

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    I guess I wonder why it's such a bad thing for it just to be a hobby. I know some really great guitarists. None of them make a living at it. They play gigs on the weekends and, because the just enjoy the guitar and want to pass it on, the give a few lessons in the evenings. They are not professional musicians, therefore it's just a hobby I guess. But they're passionate about it, they're good at it, they're committed to continuing to improve their skills etc. I see a guy who sells insurance by day and teaches martial arts a few nights a week as probably being in the some boat as these musicians...it's probably accurate to call it a hobby, but who cares?

    Just my $0.02
     
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  18. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    Anko Itosu Sensei was a full time college professor and a part-time Karate teacher. Yet, through him came most of the major Ryus (with the exception of Goju and Uechi). Saying that a P/T instructor is only a hobbiest is as incorrect as saying a full time instructor is only in it for a business. As I've stated many times, quantity does not equate to quality. So yes, this individual on KT is very incorrect in his thinking.
     
  19. Mark Jakabcsin

    Mark Jakabcsin Green Belt

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    I am 'part-time' to this thread and did not read anything but the original post. I agree it is all relative to the teacher. In theory I could easily build a case for either and yet in reality it is based on the individual teacher. Disclaimer: I teach on the side, it is not my source of income, nor do I ever want it to be. I have my own business and frequently make difficult decisions based on an income basis. I personally would never want this factor in my training, but I am NOT finding fault with those that are running this as their business. As with all things in life there are good things, bad things and in between things, it is all in how we choose to perceive them and how we implement them.

    Train until you break then start to learn.

    MJ
     
  20. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    To my mind, there are hobbies. There are avocations. And there are vocations.

    The hobbyist has fun with something. They spend time and money, and would absolutely miss the activity... but they don't shape their lives around it. A hobby is a past-time; something you do to pass the time. It becomes an avocation (I know, Webster would say they're synonymous) when you begin to shape your life around it; when it's something that you're seriously missing when you can't do it. When it becomes a vocation -- it's a key element of your life. You may or may not make your living with your vocation. I know ministers who are "full time" ministers; they're paid and make their living as a minister. I also know ministers who have a full time job, and ministry is the lynchpin of all they do.

    The same approach can be seen in martial arts instructors. Most, by the time they become an instructor, would at least be at the avocational level -- but there are some that are black belts and teach, but it's their equivalent of a Tuesday night bowling league. Some are martial practitioners by vocation. But they have a day job that pays the bills. And others make their living teaching martial arts.

    Professionalism is another thing to look at. Ever been to a seminar with a big name who barely phoned it in? I have. Guys who make their living traveling and teaching, and they just couldn't be bothered. They showed up, did their allotted hour or two... and holed up in their room. Couldn't even be bothered to make any social hours... And I've seen guys who you never heard of, burning leave from their "real job" to be there, that showed up hours early, started teaching with whoever was there, and filled their allotted time, running over. Then hung out and took part in any other training sessions, too... and hung out with everyone, even if that meant standing around a parking lot because there was no social hour scheduled.123
     

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