Listing Your Instructors

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bill Mattocks, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Champ-Pain

    Champ-Pain Blue Belt

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    I agree with Bill on this - I also agree with MJS. Hell, if I'm going to spend money on attending a seminar with so and so - I won't call them my Sensei, but I will definitely note it on my resume'. I've done many camps and seminars with top BJJ guys - none of which I consider to be, to have been, or to ever be my Sensei, or referred to as such.
     
  2. jasonbrinn

    jasonbrinn Purple Belt

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    [Flood gates opening]

    I, ummm uhhh, let's just say I have a unique perspective on this one. I grew up with instructors and in an environment where this was considered perfectly fine. I started doing it when I became a teacher and never thought any thing of it for years. I even have TOP level instructors in many hard-fought systems where I only took seminars with them and they know me and will tell anyone I trained with them (some from 15 years in the past!). Here is where the problem comes in - I now believe it is the responsibility of the person putting out the info to make sure that anyone within reason reading the info can correctly get the context and understanding of the info presented. So, if you want to list seminar training then make sure anyone (non-initiated or whatever) can understand how that is to be valued.

    If you list these things and people reading it come away with something other than the correct context and you find out and do not change the info to ensure it doesn't happen again then you are being deceitful and practicing fraud. Why not avoid the issue altogether and just list your highest rank (explain the details later). A buddy of mine suggest using the actual hours you trained each art and I think that is a decent idea but still has its own problems. If you have certifications then that is different and I believe they should be listed as long as they are not confusing to the audience they are presented to (which is like what I said for seminars so here we go again right?).

    I think this practice over time lends the person doing it to more trouble like awarding yourself rank in arts you can demonstrate the rank but have no formal ranking in. That's what I did. I gave myself rank in arts after time that I knew and could demonstrate the ability for. Now I never lied about giving it to myself but still the very act of doing what I did is at the base level dishonest. I am sorry I did it and I am VERY careful to never get anywhere near that ditch again.
     
  3. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    If you make the context clear -- list whoever you want, in my opinion. But, generally, unless I'm documenting training for a promotional application or something like that, I don't give a laundry list of everyone I've ever trained with or learned from. My teacher is one person; I've trained fairly extensively with another person in one of our Animal Systems. I've trained numerous times with the Chief Instructor. I've also trained with various other people. Unless it's particularly relevant, I don't bother listing or sharing anything beyond my teacher. And when I do -- it's clear why I list it. Generally... someone who provides a laundry list of ranks or instructors always seems to me to be trying to bolster their record, and it makes me wonder why.

    As to self-promotion... treacherous ground there. I haven't seen a single case where it went well... Even something like "training equivalent to a q-degree" just raises problems. Sounds like you learned this the hard way, already, though...
     
  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Purple Belt

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    If the question really was just a quick "who were your teachers?" the answer would be pretty straightforward. I'd mention two groups (so... four people technically). The "full answer" would be a lot more complex though. There are other teachers I've had for less time who, nevertheless, had an appreciable influence on me. Then training partners who have shaped my training significantly. Etc.

    I don't go to a lot of seminars. Haven't in years. And, even then, I think I've been to no more than six in my lifetime. But I did go and see Guro Dan Inosanto when he spoke at the Smithsonian. And you'd better believe I pestered him for a photo. He's been my inspiration for years and years, leading me to FMA and various other things. So, while I won't be framing the picture and using it to try and drum up students (and frankly, it's a crap picture of me; mostly because it closely resembles me), I'm very glad for the memento.

    There's puffery and then there's wanting to give due credit. I think the key is being honest about the timeline and the material conveyed.


    Stuart
     
  5. shihansmurf

    shihansmurf Black Belt

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    This can be a tough issue. There are only four people that I actively list as "instructors" in the sense that they are the onse who giuded me to the point that I am at in my journey.

    If I go to a seminar and pick up a new move or perspective on something, I'll state where I learned that particular bit of info but I don't consider them to be my "teacher", so to speak. The list of peole that I would train under is pretty small and after doing this for going on 28 of my 37 years on this planet I am very choosey about who I take guidance from.

    Mark
     
  6. fangjian

    fangjian Black Belt

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    This is so true. I invited someone to my place to teach a seminar. He asked me for everyones names so he could put it on certificates. I completely lolled and asked "Why"?!

    He told me it's nice to have a little momento years later. He was so right. Sometimes I stumble upon my certificate of attendance (and other stuff like that) and it's kind of a nice little surprise.123
     

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