Dont need an instructor

troubleenuf

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Haven't seen this question asked before so thought I would throw it out... at what point do you not need an instructor? I pose this question because it seems that regardless of rank/experience Americans seem to think you need to be "under" someone. Of course I have some opinion on this but would like to see others first.
 

tellner

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There comes a point where you are able to maintain your own training and development. That point comes at different times for everyone. That was, theoretically, what menkyo and later dan ranks were supposed to indicate. You knew the curriculum well enough to perform it and pass it on.

For example, Kano-sensei founded Judo after four or five years. Bruce Lee had about the same time in grade in Wing Chun.
 

jks9199

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There comes a point where you are able to maintain your own training and development. That point comes at different times for everyone. That was, theoretically, what menkyo and later dan ranks were supposed to indicate. You knew the curriculum well enough to perform it and pass it on.

For example, Kano-sensei founded Judo after four or five years. Bruce Lee had about the same time in grade in Wing Chun.
However, it's almost always beneficial to have the input and guidance of others in your training, lest errors and habits become ingrained.

It's easy for a small detail to go a bit astray, and it sometimes takes an outside eye to recognize and remind you of it.
 

Nolerama

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However, it's almost always beneficial to have the input and guidance of others in your training, lest errors and habits become ingrained.

It's easy for a small detail to go a bit astray, and it sometimes takes an outside eye to recognize and remind you of it.

I think you always need training partners to catch you on what you're missing.
 

Deaf Smith

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In times, later times I might add, you will have found your own way and know what techniques, tactics, and strategy fit yourself. As for when one doesn't need an instructor, let's just say when you start putting on some grey.

But, I have found a training buddy sure does help keep it all together.

Deaf
 

GBlues

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Maybe when you have come to the point where you feel you have learned all you can from the person teaching you
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Steve

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A wise friend once told me, "If you're the toughest cat in the gym, find another gym." The idea being that you can ALWAYS learn something, and there are ALWAYS people who can push you to become better.

Whether you're running your own school or not, I would imagine that there is always someone who can help you improve.
 

harlan

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Something to throw into the mix: an older MAist who seems to think one should always be open to learning.

'My biggest mistake? Not having a teacher.'

 
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terryl965

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I believe we all must have someone around to push us and help us grow if that is what we desire. I mean no one can really see every flaw they have and need guideness to continue to grow.
 

bluekey88

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I think there never comes a time you don't need an instructor. What changes I think is the nature of the instruction. As a beginner, you need to be shown not only the basic techniques but also how to train them. You need frequent practice and external motivation.

As you gain expereince you'll learn how to practice. You'll learn how to critically examine what you;re doing and adjust. At that point, you'll need someone to touch base with (maybe less frequently) and perhpas people with whom to work out. You'll still be learning, still be growing...but the process is somewhat different.

Peace,
Erik
 

Daniel Sullivan

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There comes a point where you are able to maintain your own training and development. That point comes at different times for everyone. That was, theoretically, what menkyo and later dan ranks were supposed to indicate. You knew the curriculum well enough to perform it and pass it on.

For example, Kano-sensei founded Judo after four or five years. Bruce Lee had about the same time in grade in Wing Chun.
This is essentially what I'd say, along with what others have said regarding a training partner. I'd also add that regular checking in with one's seniors is something that should never cease.

One caveat is that we should always remember that to an extent, we are always a student. Seeking out and learning new things should be a continuous process. Randy Rhoads was without a doubt, a master of his craft, yet when he toured with Ozzy, every town he was in, he'd find a teacher to take lessons from, simply in the oft chance that he would learn something new. That is a mentality that we as martial arts practitioners should also hold.

Daniel
 

stickarts

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I have always had a teacher or mentor with more experience than I overseeing me or at least giving me some feedback. I think we all need a set of eyes on us to help keep us on track and open to new ideas and ways of doing things. Even the greatest instructors that I have worked with were constantly learning from others. I believe in your training you are either moving forward or moving backward. Having a mentor / teacher can be a great aid in constantly moving forward no matter what level you are. A good teacher can also help keep your head on straight. :)
 

YoungMan

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Your teacher is not your training partner. You always need an instructor, because you always need someone who can elevate you to a higher level. I'm not talking about bringing your physical technique up. A coach can do that. A teacher can take your entire martial arts experience (physical, mental, social, spiritual etc.) and improve it. And you don't get that from talking to high ranking people in various styles, as many Americans seem to think you can do. You need a teacher who has been there from the beginning, and knows and understands you. We have 7th Dan instructors who still follow our GM as their instructor. They've never gotten to the point where they feel they don't need him.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Your teacher is not your training partner. You always need an instructor, because you always need someone who can elevate you to a higher level. I'm not talking about bringing your physical technique up. A coach can do that. A teacher can take your entire martial arts experience (physical, mental, social, spiritual etc.) and improve it. And you don't get that from talking to high ranking people in various styles, as many Americans seem to think you can do. You need a teacher who has been there from the beginning, and knows and understands you. We have 7th Dan instructors who still follow our GM as their instructor. They've never gotten to the point where they feel they don't need him.
Well stated, but what if your teacher has died or in some other way become unavailable? With most of us, that is an eventuality, as most of us are younger and in some cases, substantially younger, than our teachers.

Daniel
 

tellner

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There's always something to learn. There's always someone who has something to teach you. If you get a good foundation then someday you will be ready to go out on your own and work independently. An engineer spends four to seven years in college. She doesn't leave knowing everything, and there's a lot that a job teaches, but she doesn't spend the rest of her life as someone's grad student. A journeyman in any trade, or art back when artists used that system, fetched and carried for a few years, trained and worked for a few more, then became a journeyman who could go anywhere to ply his trade.

Hero-worship notwithstanding there comes a point where you reach the point of diminishing returns with any particular teacher no matter how good. The time and effort you would have to spend to get that extra bit of polish would be better spent doing something else with someone else. Even if you come back to what you started with there there is tremendous value in learning more than one thing from more than one person. Otherwise you just become an imperfect copy of an imperfect copy, and we get the other half of "The Kung Fu Death Spiral".

There's a time for depending on parents. And there's a time for respecting them as an adult. The distorted misunderstood neo-Confucianism that infects much of the martial arts conspires to keep many subservient children forever.
 
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troubleenuf

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Wow!!! So far I am surprised to tell you the truth. I expected someone to start ranting and raving about HAVING to have an instructor. Just a little background,,, I left my instructor after 18 years. In the past 12 since then I learned far more by myself then I did with him. The reason I asked this question initially was because of the past conversations on certification and testing. That is why I expected more of a rant about this. Anyway, since everyone seems to understand that there comes a point that you are responsible for your own growth (I use the children and parents relationship with my students on this as well) why then does the emphasis on having to have someone test us to a rank so touchy with some? If you can direct your own growth should you not be reasonably able to promote yourself as well? As long as you follow the guidelines set forth that are reasonable?... After all,,, someone at one time had to promote himself as there was no one else to do it. Ill tell you the truth... I am eligible for my next test. However I have a considerable problem with a test were you have to do two patterns and MAYBE a break and that is the extent of it. If I was 80 that might work but that to me is not a test. Its a method of making money.
 

matt.m

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The day you quit learning is the day you start too become stupid. I mean you don't have to learn new technique but you can reflect on how to make technique you know better.

Plus I have seen where "Newer" instructors think that they are in front of a class an they know it all. That is where someone becomes stupid so to speak. Without direction or feed back you can get into bad habits.

For example: If you only know half of O-Jang and try to do the rest by youself then it is wrong. So if you practice O-Jang 50 times wrong it takes 150 times of doing it right to make up for the mistake.
 
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troubleenuf

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Hate to tell you but old instructors have that mentality too.... I wont mention any names but a few years ago we invited a 9th Dan to our gym to do a seminar.... Now I tell my students that when they quit learning they are either dead or stupid.... the first thing this guy did to start his seminar was to grab ahold of his belt and proclaim that if he hasn't seen it it isn't worth doing.... needless to say the seminar went downhill from there.

The day you quit learning is the day you start too become stupid. I mean you don't have to learn new technique but you can reflect on how to make technique you know better.

Plus I have seen where "Newer" instructors think that they are in front of a class an they know it all. That is where someone becomes stupid so to speak. Without direction or feed back you can get into bad habits.

For example: If you only know half of O-Jang and try to do the rest by youself then it is wrong. So if you practice O-Jang 50 times wrong it takes 150 times of doing it right to make up for the mistake.
 

tellner

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Hate to tell you but old instructors have that mentality too.... I wont mention any names but a few years ago we invited a 9th Dan to our gym to do a seminar.... the first thing this guy did to start his seminar was to grab ahold of his belt and proclaim that if he hasn't seen it it isn't worth doing....

Dear Lord, I pray that the next man I have to fight is that one.
 
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