Bad instructor. What to do????

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,571
Reaction score
4,848
Location
England
Why a person would take out their annoyance on the poor student instead of the person who awarded the belt and set the standard, though, is beyond me.


Easier to go at the student, there's a risk the instructor would smack him.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
22,355
Reaction score
7,106
Yeah it didn't seem based on the fact he was a young black belt, and nor did he have any attitude. I would understand if he was showing disrespect that the instructor would call him up on it, but that wasn't the case.. was just deflating, and wasn't motivating or encouraging.

I have met instructors like that. The thing is there are some guys who thrive under those conditions. Like in a fight you will see a corner man yelling at a fighter.

But I am not a fan.

And thankfully my coach doesn't really behave like that.
(I mean there are moments. But I do a tough sport and everyone has a blow up now and then)
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,709
Reaction score
9,643
Location
Hendersonville, NC
... went to a seminar today and there were 3 instructors, two were guests. One of which I considered to be not so great an instructor at all... sounds similar to the OP situation.

Called out a 13 year old black belt (amongst others) and asked them to demonstrate particular sequences, called them basically crap, 'ranked' them 3.5/10, and said he's going back to his dojo and he's going to have to tell them that this dojo doesn't show much 'spirit'. To a 13 year old.

He was a fairly high rank, but in no way do I think that's acceptable. NOR motivating in any way. I felt completely uninspired by him. The kid actually did great, really sharp technique, power etc. I think there may be some leeway to higher grades at times, and as though because they're a higher grade it's justification to treat others like dirt.

I was close to just walking out. There's pushing people to perform with more oomph and power (encouragement, sharing exciting and energy), then there's overly critical, making a kid feel guilty in front of his whole club that he's letting them all down and giving them a bad rep. There were more instances too, but it reminds me of the movie 'Whiplash' (not sure who's seen it, I've only seen clips), but to what degree would one subject oneself to that behaviour in order to just get 'good' at something? At what cost? It's interesting...

Really is context dependent, and important to view the instructor without bias, and I'm curious about updates from the OP.
Yeah, that's pretty inexcusable, whatever the motivation. Instructors are human - even high-ranking ones - and sometimes they let their flaws have free reign. And some of them seriously don't know how to teach to the person they need to teach to. If, as Tez suggests, this was a commentary on the age of the belt-holder, that's something to take up with the person who promoted them. Otherwise, you're complaining about prices to the person running the register - they have no control over that crap.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,709
Reaction score
9,643
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Yeah it didn't seem based on the fact he was a young black belt, and nor did he have any attitude. I would understand if he was showing disrespect that the instructor would call him up on it, but that wasn't the case.. was just deflating, and wasn't motivating or encouraging.
Sometimes, it's actually based on something else. The instructor is trying to make a point (and may or may not be making it), but is doing it in an inappropriate way. I ran into that with a senior instructor who had a problem with something I posted online once, and he used me as an example in some demos at a seminar, making comments and being rougher than necessary. Thing is, he hadn't yet told me he was unhappy with me, so it just left me confused and pissed with him. Still am, actually.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,294
Location
Southeast U.S.
Yeah, that's pretty inexcusable, whatever the motivation. Instructors are human - even high-ranking ones - and sometimes they let their flaws have free reign. And some of them seriously don't know how to teach to the person they need to teach to. If, as Tez suggests, this was a commentary on the age of the belt-holder, that's something to take up with the person who promoted them. Otherwise, you're complaining about prices to the person running the register - they have no control over that crap.

Agreed. This whole thread could be a teaching moment for all instructors. Knowing something and being able to teach it to someone else is an Art in and of itself. If you are a school owner, some assumption can be made that you can and have taught enough to have good competency. Sadly, that is not an absolute. Just because you are good at your MA and "really, really" get off on standing in front of class, you "really, really" need to think differently. Holding a black belt comes with the responsibility of teaching those of lower rank, sometimes higher possibly. If we do not make sure that this is understood and nurtured, things like what happened to the OP will continue to happen. A big part of the dilution of most MA's.
 

oftheherd1

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
817
Easier to go at the student, there's a risk the instructor would smack him.

That may be the saddest part. That instructor may have picked on the student because he didn't have the fortitude to speak to the school owner.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,709
Reaction score
9,643
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Agreed. This whole thread could be a teaching moment for all instructors. Knowing something and being able to teach it to someone else is an Art in and of itself. If you are a school owner, some assumption can be made that you can and have taught enough to have good competency. Sadly, that is not an absolute. Just because you are good at your MA and "really, really" get off on standing in front of class, you "really, really" need to think differently. Holding a black belt comes with the responsibility of teaching those of lower rank, sometimes higher possibly. If we do not make sure that this is understood and nurtured, things like what happened to the OP will continue to happen. A big part of the dilution of most MA's.
I'll toss in a corollary that's related to your post but unrelated to the OP's situation: we need to remember we can still learn from folks with lower ranks, too. Too often in TMA (as I've experienced it), teaching and learning is one-directional. That's screwed up. I try to make a point of learning something from folks with less experience than me. And some folks with lower rank have experience in areas I don't. And I try to make sure they (and others) get to actually see me learning from them - to set the example that it's okay if someone gives you help even though they've not reached your rank. Sometimes, it's someone who only has a year or two in an art who sees what those of us with many years aren't seeing.
 

Mark Lynn

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
184
Location
Roanoke TX USA
Like you, I don't have a problem with an early teen getting a BB. But it is under a very, very narrow set of circumstances and should be an exception, not the norm.

Agreed

Each of us who have taught for some time have had those exceptional kids who could have an adult conversation with us at age 10. (Somewhere in my post you can find me talking about Mikey Hickerson.) However, we have also had many, many, many kids who were more than able to physically perform the curriculum.

True, and I have sat on tests where under those schools rules those students are allowed to test and passed, they earn their rank under that schools rules. Under my school generally the student learns to perform their forms, kicks , and they can fight. However they also spend time learning to defend against weapons, more self defense type material, etc. etc. which takes away time from perfecting kata, perfecting the side kick, being great point fighting competitors etc. etc.

To me, being able to pass a black belt exam is much more than checking boxes to say they performed a technique adequately. Even it they memorize a bunch of language and history, there are esoteric things that should be just as apparent to the testing board as it is to the student's instructor.

I agree, which is why I closely watch my students in how they treat each other, how they spar (do they lose control of themselves, are they bullies when sparing with a weaker or younger students, do they show respect to each other, do they give up or preserver etc. etc.

Being able to perform with a group of kids one year older in a special program is impressive. But why did you let the kid into the program? On their physical merit?

You misunderstood I think.

I asked my seniors (who were the senior teachers, my instructor and the founder of the organization) if she could join the program when it started again. At that time she was 11, I thought she was 12, I asked for permission because I knew she could handle it and it would be good for her to train with adults, and so she could learn from some other senior instructors and have to adapt to a more rigid training environment (dojo rules different from my own, Japanese terms instead of English etc. etc.) She was getting ready for black belt in my system and had already been studying Kobudo under me, which was what she would be learning from them as well.

The program was also a 3 yr commitment and a basic 4 hr. time commitment (1 hr drive each way, 2 hr. class) once a month, on top of my normal Saturday classes of 3 hours. But she and 5 of my other students wanted to do it. She and 2 of my other students (my adult assistant instructors) stuck it out and ultimately tested for black belt in Kobudo under the association.

That sessions class started with 45 students; from multi dan black belts all the way down to 4th browns, adults and teens from across our association's schools in the area. Kimberly at the time was a red (1st brown) belt and was the youngest and smallest person out of the group. Only 15 people stuck it out (made it through the program) and tested for Shodan.

When I went through the program two sessions before I and another instructor were the highest ranked going through the exam and he was in his mid 50's and I in my late 40's so it wasn't just a bunch of students one year older than her.

Part of the beauty and grace of youth is the body's abilities when young. On physical merit alone most kids will out perform adults. Put them under pressure of any kind and the scales quickly flip. This is an example of a qualifier for being ready to test for BB. If we all did it on physical ability alone a black belt would be meaningless.

I agree

But this is why I mentioned this in the first place. Kimberly was under the same if not more pressure than the adults in that class because, just like in my classes where she came up the youngest in the advanced class and had to fight, do weapons defense and self defense material against boys and girls who were older and larger, and now she was going mainly against grown men and women. She had developed not only a love for the martial arts, but she developed a fighting spirit as well by always being the smallest. So she learned to hit hard she took her training just as seriously as adults.

Long before her test I would get comments passed to me by other instructors (black belts) in that class about how hard she would hit the BOB with her Bo doing drills or their Bo when doing contact drills. Her spirit and ability came out during her test and it was why as a 14 yr old she was mentioned as having the best test out of the 15 black and brown belt students.

It is more than just physical ability like in taking a karate test (just using this as an example) and demonstrating your forms, kicks, basics, etc. etc. Here there was this as well, but control is even more important when a 6ft Bo is coming towards your head and you have to move and block then return a counter strike to a person's head. Or do the same for sai, nunchaku, and tonfa.

So back to my original post, If a young student can meet the requirements and is ready, I don't see a problem with the student being young. Even if it is the exception to the rule or they are an exceptional student. Not everyone puts in the time and effort to earn their black belt, if a young student does, I believe it cheapens their martial arts training to say everyone needs to be a certain age across the globe to earn their rank and to make it out like they didn't earn it.
 

Mark Lynn

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 21, 2003
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
184
Location
Roanoke TX USA
This is why.

Maybe I'm dense here, but are you referring to your final comment? The one about the UFC. Is that why? Was that your main point? Or was it because I teach kids?

Do you believe kids have anything to gain in the training of TMAs? Or should it just be for adults?

Are you an instructor?

Do you teach others?

No. Neither of them should be getting BB's.

So on the exam the person does every thing correctly except one area, say in this case weapons defense. They sparred great, beating up kids and adults, won every round, did the 100 man kumutie, you name it but they screw up on one area you believe they failed?

Could they not just have their senior instructor go over that material more for the person for 2nd dan?

Cheapens the BB.

By whose standards? Yours? I'm just wondering who made you the supreme authority and what every school should be?

Then you wonder why TMA Black belts are rarely respected since 1993, when UFC 01 debuted.

I don't wonder why, I don't fight in the UFC, I have no interest in MMA (in the mixed martial arts sports world that is). I don't care about why people don't like TMAs on forums like this.

Seriously the only reason why I chimed in here on this discussion, was the people saying that since the OPs son was a young black belt then that was the problem. It's the kid's fault, his instructor, and his associations fault because he is young and they promoted him to the glorious black belt. That's the problem. Like if he was older than he wouldn't have had the problem because well he would have been an adult or as if somehow turning 16 makes you eligible in the worlds eyes to be a black belt or something.

If that is the school's requirements than that's fine, it is what it is. If it is the association's requirements that's fine again,it is what it is. But to make it everyone's requirement that a student must fit into the idea that another person's holds (on an internet forum) is nuts.
 

FriedRice

Master Black Belt
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
131
Location
san jose
Maybe I'm dense here, but are you referring to your final comment? The one about the UFC. Is that why? Was that your main point? Or was it because I teach kids?

Do you believe kids have anything to gain in the training of TMAs? Or should it just be for adults?

Are you an instructor?

Do you teach others?

Being a BB should include the ability to beat up many adults (not just a few) was my main point. I'll even go as far as saying that a BB should be able to beat the hell out of most average adults.

And yes, I teach...but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

So on the exam the person does every thing correctly except one area, say in this case weapons defense. They sparred great, beating up kids and adults, won every round, did the 100 man kumutie, you name it but they screw up on one area you believe they failed?

If that area that they failed being, not able to beat up adults of lower ranked belts. You know what I meant.

Could they not just have their senior instructor go over that material more for the person for 2nd dan?

By whose standards? Yours? I'm just wondering who made you the supreme authority and what every school should be?

By what most people who don't train in MA, usually thinks when they hear that someone's a Black Belt. Pre-1993/UFC, BB's were well respected, mostly based on such myths. Notice how the OP of this thread seems to be this exact person. After UFC 1-4, most of these myths were dispelled.

BJJ actually brought back real respect for the belt system, but strip mall McDojos keep on handing out belts to little kids for that $$$$$$.

I don't wonder why, I don't fight in the UFC, I have no interest in MMA (in the mixed martial arts sports world that is). I don't care about why people don't like TMAs on forums like this.

You seem to care a lot as you're typing essays, talking to me about it when it's quite clear that I'm this exact, MMA person who "don't like TMAs on forums like this", that you're complaining about.

Seriously the only reason why I chimed in here on this discussion, was the people saying that since the OPs son was a young black belt then that was the problem. It's the kid's fault, his instructor, and his associations fault because he is young and they promoted him to the glorious black belt. That's the problem. Like if he was older than he wouldn't have had the problem because well he would have been an adult or as if somehow turning 16 makes you eligible in the worlds eyes to be a black belt or something.

If that is the school's requirements than that's fine, it is what it is. If it is the association's requirements that's fine again,it is what it is. But to make it everyone's requirement that a student must fit into the idea that another person's holds (on an internet forum) is nuts.

McDojo?
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
7,047
Reaction score
2,294
Location
Southeast U.S.
Being a BB should include the ability to beat up many adults (not just a few) was my main point. I'll even go as far as saying that a BB should be able to beat the hell out of most average adults.

And yes, I teach...but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.



If that area that they failed being, not able to beat up adults of lower ranked belts. You know what I meant.



By what most people who don't train in MA, usually thinks when they hear that someone's a Black Belt. Pre-1993/UFC, BB's were well respected, mostly based on such myths. Notice how the OP of this thread seems to be this exact person. After UFC 1-4, most of these myths were dispelled.

BJJ actually brought back real respect for the belt system, but strip mall McDojos keep on handing out belts to little kids for that $$$$$$.



You seem to care a lot as you're typing essays, talking to me about it when it's quite clear that I'm this exact, MMA person who "don't like TMAs on forums like this", that you're complaining about.



McDojo?


Man, that was the worst answers I have ever heard, on or off this forum. I get it, you are passionate about MMA. Until you can back up your arguments with more than a loose opinion about how MMA saved the credibility of all Martial Arts (ridiculous), expect to be challenged. It is a forum, a place to share ideas and opinions, you know. With an attitude like that you will get your *** handed to you sooner rather than later. It would be funny to be there.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
12,474
Reaction score
9,590
Location
Maui
The dad that started this thread is yet to come back. Makes me rethink it all.
I peg him as "one of those parents."

Maybe the thread should have been titled "Pain in the butt parents. We all encounter them."
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
12,474
Reaction score
9,590
Location
Maui
I've taught a lot of kids in my day. And I'd say that ninety nine percent of parents were good people.

But there have been some I still can't wrap my head around. I mean Crazy with a capital C.
 

FriedRice

Master Black Belt
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
131
Location
san jose
Man, that was the worst answers I have ever heard, on or off this forum. I get it, you are passionate about MMA. Until you can back up your arguments with more than a loose opinion about how MMA saved the credibility of all Martial Arts (ridiculous), expect to be challenged.

My comment was mostly about attaining the level of Black Belt. It should mean certain things and one being, you should be able to kick a lot of ***. The early UFC's dispelled a lot of the hocus pocus of TMA that was all over the place during the 80's & 90's....this cannot be denied. I remember as a kid, when hearing someone's a BB....that must automatically mean that he's a bad***.

It is a forum, a place to share ideas and opinions, you know. With an attitude like that you will get your *** handed to you sooner rather than later. It would be funny to be there.

What do you mean? Like get my *** handed to me in person or something? I'm always up for that.

But was what I said, that bad? I really didn't mean to come off that way.
 
Last edited:

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,571
Reaction score
4,848
Location
England
The early UFC's dispelled a lot of the hocus pocus of TMA that was all over the place during the 80's & 90's.

Most of the stuff around in the 80s and 90s was about kickboxing, it was the fashionable style then, along with the Jackie Chan style of 'fighting'. Kids wanted to be ninjas la Ninja turtles. Little was said about the traditional arts. Aikido got a look in because of Steven Segal.
The early UFCs didn't make a huge splash at the time, they only look 'groundbreaking' in hindsight. they were specifically designed to showcase BJJ and the Gracies.
If you'd been around then of course you would know this but looking at the UFC through rose tinted glasses is not the best way to actually judge what went on then and still goes on. Of course though is you want to keep looking as if you are merely a fanboy rather than someone with depth and experience of MMA then carry on.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,709
Reaction score
9,643
Location
Hendersonville, NC
My comment was mostly about attaining the level of Black Belt. It should mean certain things and one being, you should be able to kick a lot of ***. The early UFC's dispelled a lot of the hocus pocus of TMA that was all over the place during the 80's & 90's....this cannot be denied. I remember as a kid, when hearing someone's a BB....that must automatically mean that he's a bad***.



What do you mean? Like get my *** handed to me in person or something? I'm always up for that.

But was what I said, that bad? I really didn't mean to come off that way.
That's your expectation of what it should mean. That's mostly, IMO, based upon marketing and media from the 770's and 80's. The BB should mean exactly what a given system says it means. If someone decides BB is their first rank, because they want to demystify it, and they use pink as their "expert" rank, that's not wrong - it's just odd to us because we have an expectation of what BB should be.

To be clear, my personal expectation isn't far from yours. But that's just my expectation, and I don't get to be the arbiter of "should".
 

FriedRice

Master Black Belt
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
131
Location
san jose
Most of the stuff around in the 80s and 90s was about kickboxing, it was the fashionable style then, along with the Jackie Chan style of 'fighting'. Kids wanted to be ninjas la Ninja turtles. Little was said about the traditional arts. Aikido got a look in because of Steven Segal.

Wrong. 80's and 90's was mostly TKD and Karate. Karate's not TMA now? That was when Karate Kid came out and then the sequels. Then Joon Rhee took a big piece with his "nobody bothers me" schtick. Hardly anyone idolized Kickboxers other than mostly those who fought; even if it's just the sporty flavor of Karate choppin'. Most of the McDojo culture of today was started by these 80's & 90's strip mall joints.

The early UFCs didn't make a huge splash at the time, they only look 'groundbreaking' in hindsight. they were specifically designed to showcase BJJ and the Gracies.

False. It was meant to prove which TMA worked and which were **** ****. Secondarily, it further wanted to answer the question of grappler vs. standup striker. It could have gone either way. Gracie could have gotten KTFO by standup strikers and look like an idiot. If it was meant to specifically showcase BJJ and the Gracies, then why didn't they put more Gracies/BJJ in rather than just ONE, to increase their chances? Why did Gracie quit fighting after just 5 UFCs; less than 2 years after it all started? UFC was paying $50-60k for one night of fighting. This is more than what most Pro Kickboxers made in a year. Why didn't a ton more of Gracies enter the UFC after Royce stopped fighting there? UFC 6 and up to Maurice Smith, was mostly a bunch of Wrestlers and BJJ but from other Brazilian camps. Did the Gracies meant to promote their competitors from Brazil too?

If you'd been around then of course you would know this but looking at the UFC through rose tinted glasses is not the best way to actually judge what went on then and still goes on. Of course though is you want to keep looking as if you are merely a fanboy rather than someone with depth and experience of MMA then carry on.

Unfortunately, I'm probably almost as old as you are, which is nothing to be proud of really. :D :D You trying to say that you fought MMA? Or maybe just a fangirl, helping out with the bucket but taking extra credit for it.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,571
Reaction score
4,848
Location
England
Hardly anyone idolized Kickboxers other than mostly those who fought


You are only speaking for your culture, you know little of much outside it.
It's amusing when you assume I'm lying because what I say doesn't correlate with what you think. Never mind you are a hero in your own lunchtime, I expect that's enough.

As for MMA, if you don't know by now what I do ( everyone else here does) then I'm not going to bore the other posters by reiterating my martial arts CV. Yours I have no interest in.
 

Latest Discussions

Top