Discussion in 'JKD / Jeet Kune Do' started by James Kovacich, Oct 7, 2009.
Gene Lebell is getting fat and old.......anyone want to roll with Gene?
Fat? JKD guy? James, are we talking about anyone specific?
Haha, we had a similar person in Judo except he always ate Menudo before coming to practice! The worst days of my life...
Just look at Roy "Big Country" Nelson in the UFC. He's fat and he is successful.
I'll just ask 2 questions about this fat/out of shape JKD trainer.
Is he Motivated with his teaching?
Does he appear to be producing quality martial artists at the school?
As long as the teacher is there because they love what they do and they can teach others the system to a high level. What more do you need?
They call them trainers/teachers for this reason.
Judge by there teaching, not there looks.
Not who you might be thinking of. When I realized I may of disrespected someone who I respect, I cleared the air with him.
I apologize for not reading all 4 pages of posts so far---
I DEFINITELY WOULD TRAIN UNDER SUCH A MAN. Here's why.
In my work, non martial arts related, I once met a woman who was clearly out of shape. She liked to sit and watch. I later discovered that she was a highly regarded and well respected movement instructor. Now, maybe she couldn't actually DO the movement, but she knew her stuff and knew how to get it into you; dancers, actors, etc.
From that one incident, I now dispute the notion that a teacher MUST be able to show and do what they are teaching. Untrue for me.
+10! Exactly what I was thinking! Another that came to mind was Larry Hartsell. For awhile, he sported a decent gut. Either of them could put a serious hurt on you.
I would with the caveat "as long as the instructor didn't lecture me on the importanct of weight control and diet". I have a serious personal hang up about overweigt martial art instructors that preach on the merits of self control and fitness, but aside from that I am willing to learn from any knowlegdable teacher.
I think it just depends on if you are looking for a fitness instructor or a martial arts instructor. I know many people people who work as instructors at "fitness" kickboxing gyms who are in fantastic shape - but know only the most basic material (if that). I also know quite a few very knowledgeable martial arts instructors who are not exactly in top shape. Some good examples were given earlier.
So, "yes" I would train under a fat JKD guy if he knew his stuff - for that matter I'm not exactly sporting a six pack myself.
I'd go the other way. Diet and conditioning are important for a fighter, less so for a coach. I think the coach should stay in relatively good shape if possible as it makes doing the job of coaching a lot easier. But any coach that said that diet and conditioning didn't play a factor would, IMO, be a bit of a idiot.
Obviously this is much more important when training competitors, but for everyone.
I also think the idea of being deadly serious about defending yourself against "thugs" is kind of silly when the person involved is far more likely to fall victim to a double bacon cheeseburger then a physical attack, but maybe that's just me.
I agree that diet and conditioning is more important to the fighter than the coach, I just have a low tolerance for the do as I say and not as I do mentality. I keep myself in pretty good condition, so when I tell my students that eating right and conditioning are important it is obvious that I practice what I preach.I don't expect more of them than I am willing to do myself.
We expect an instructor to demonstrate that their art's techniques are effective, I think that the training philosophy should be under the same scrutiny.
I love that last paragraph in your post.
I guess I'll be the politically incorrect fall gal here and say "no, I wouldn't." My JKD teacher is in shape physically and can do incredible things because he keeps fit. I think it's important to lead by example and it was one of the things that Bruce stressed. He himself had disdain for teachers who themselves couldn't keep up with the exercises or do them themselves, but had no issues telling their students what they should do. So my JKD teacher is fit, my Wing Chun teacher is fit and my Judo teacher is fit. If they weren't, I think I'd keep looking, shallow as that may make me.
Martial arts, say JKD training is not just about fighting. It encompases physical, mental and emotional polishing, which needs a lot of self-discipline. Being out of shape, sometimes, is the result of lack of self-discipline. A good instructor, aside from being skilled and tactician, has a high degree of self-discipline. He does what he preach; He is a model to his students.
Yah, and if he gets older and weaker, or his lifestyle changes and he puts on weight, or if he was once in shape but isn't anymore, or if he was never athletic enough to be compared to Bruce Lee to begin with, then he obviously has nothing to offer anyone and training with him, hell, spending time in the same room with him, is a waste of my time, energy, and limited resources, and I think we should probably just Logan's Run his ***.
After all, I'm a godlike Adonis who never makes a mistake, is in perfect physical shape and always will be, and was born the parent of two Olympic Gymnasts with the natural athletic ability of a gazelle.
Why would I lower myself to training with someone who isn't as perfect a physical specimen as I? What use in this world could I possibly have for that person?
Fat son of a ***** probably choking on a cheeseburger right now.
I don't think that a person has to be in perfect physical condition in order to be an instructor or to have valuable knowledge to impart, however, the moment that an overweight and out of shape teacher beging to preach and lecture their students on condition, diet, and exercise, then they are being hypocrits. I know that expecting instructors who preach about self-discipline, self-control, and the benifits of conditioning to actually engage in those behaviors is an unpopular position around these parts but I hold that position.
Now if that instructor were to just focus on teaching the technical aspect of the art and leave the other parts alone with me, I wouldn't have a word to say against them. It is the hypocacy of it that bug me.
Just my view
I respect and appreciate your expectation of fitness and integrity in martial arts instructors. I don't think there's anything old fashioned about self control. I think it's something each of us must confront every moment of our lives.
And I believe that every instructor should be focused on the technical aspects of their art. Technique is what makes us professionals.
But regardless of an instructor's size, I can not see any good or responsible instructor downplaying or denegrating the importance of diet and exercise in overall health. While I generally disapprove of the phrase, I think where diet and exercise in general are concerned, "the debate is over."
I would not ask my doctor to justify his eating habits before operating on my heart. I am not going to a martial arts instructor for his benefit. I am going because he has something to offer me. So long as that continued to be the case, I would be willing to train under an overweight instructor. Because it would still benefit me. And I am not in the habit of discounting a person's knowledge or skill based on their own unique vices and quibbles.
Hypocrites? No. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to train with them. Because I try to associate with decent people. But I don't expect fat people to be stupid either. I'm fat. And if anyone asked me how to get thin, I'd tell them diet and exercise and only that. What else could I possibly say with any integrity? Lay on the floor and drink chocolate?
I don't care if a person is fat, or thin, or male, or female, or black, or white. I don't care if they practice MMA or TKD. I care if they have something useful to share. I care if they are capable of sharing it in a constructive manner. I care if they shower on a regular basis.
I don't care if they had Wendy's once or twice yesterday.
One of my favorite teachers is a lady who struggles with weight. She no longer teaches at our school but we keep in contact because her input is extremely valuable to me.
I learned a long time ago that the instructor's level of conditioning is less important than their ability to instruct. I would only consider it an obstacle if they were unable to demonstrate the techniques. Even then, however, there are work-arounds. An instructor with a knee injury may not be able to demonstrate kicks but can certainly bring a senior student or assistant instructor to the front to do the kick and explain what is happening.
A good teacher finds a way to teach good.
Just because someone's a hypocrite, doesn't mean they're wrong.
A guy can tell me that donuts are bad for me, even as he's cramming one in his gob.
And guess what:
Donuts are still bad for me. The value of the information imparted hasn't changed.
Would I rather have a teacher who was fit? Yeah. Teachers who lead by example are modeling behaviour, which is essentially another form of teaching. But I wouldn't stop listening to a teacher who was heavyset.
As I stated, I hold an unpopular position. Yet I still hold to it. Martial arts are a physical endevor. I've struggled with my weight. I don't, however, instruct my students to condition and do cardio, and watch their diets, while I don't. I wouldn't train under an instructor that engaged in that sort of hypocritical behavior.
When my students are doing push ups, so am I.
When they are running laps, so am I.
When they are lifting weights, so am I.
When I am advising them to watch their diets, that is what I am doing.
I don't expect perfection in the people that I learn from, just integrity. I've been at this long enough that I'm choosey about who I call teacher and while other people may not see things the way that I do, and I fully respect that, I've reached the point that the days of "Do as I say, not as I do", from my teachers is not acceptable to me. I expect them to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
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