Keeping up with your students

IcemanSK

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I recently had a discussion w/ a 45 year old instructor who teaches sport MA. He told me that he started working out extra hard so he will always be a step ahead of his students. In his words, "I don't want them to think they can 'one up' the Old Man." He mainly teaches grade school aged children, but has a few teens in his program.

Do you feel this way about how you see your relationship to your students? I'm curious.
 

Flying Crane

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I am not an instructor so I cannot answer from that perspective, but rather from the perspective of a student.

One of my first instructors who I studied with in the 1980s when I was in high school has since drifted from the martial arts. Doesnt really train much any more, but I have continued to keep in touch with him. I have continued to further my own training in several arts, with several other teachers.

A few years ago I was visiting my parents with my then fiance (now wife), and we took a side trip to visit with him for a couple hours. I was in a different room for a moment and overheard him telling my fiance that "I just tell people that I have a student who can kick my *** because he has kept with this stuff and gone on way beyond what I ever did." I never mentioned that I heard what he said, but I took it as a great compliment and I appreciated the attitude that underlies the compliment. He was proud of my accomplishments, which he knew were built upon the foundation that he gave me. It made him happy to see.

I think this embodies what the teacher/student relationship should be. The teacher gives, and is happy when the student progresses, even if it is beyond the teacher. The student receives and works hard to improve, but always remembers where his knowledge and skill came from and respects and appreciates his teachers for what they have given him.
 

terryl965

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I train but for myself whether or not a student can physically do something 'm unable to do anymare is irrelevent in my eyes.
I understand they are younger and more vigouris than me at this point in my life. I wish when people start to get old they can deal with notn being able to do the things they use to.
Terry
 
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IcemanSK

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terryl965 said:
I train but for myself whether or not a student can physically do something 'm unable to do anymare is irrelevent in my eyes.
I understand they are younger and more vigouris than me at this point in my life. I wish when people start to get old they can deal with notn being able to do the things they use to.
Terry

That was kinda my take also, Terry. He gets quite ...."overzealous" w/ his students sometimes, too. Getting in their faces & screaming, plays the "Rocky" soundtrack (Loudly) during his entire class. He's always trying to "pump them up." All for 3 tournaments a year (although last year it was one). The worst was when he sparred w/ a student & the 1st thing he did was a footsweep (that's illegal & she didn't see coming) that sent her quickly to ground on her head. His response? "It was instinct!" I'm sorry, but not for a 45 year old man w/ 25+ years experience!!!! That's rediculous! Had his instructor have been there, he'd have had a fit.

Yeah, that's way off topic. Sorry. I want my students to be better than me. I'm gonna continue to train to better....for me. But I want my students to excel.
 

Blindside

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My instructor does work harder to keep "stay ahead of the pack" as far as he is concerned that is the recipricol of him teaching us what he knows, we push him to be better.

I have competed directly against him, and if I won, he was the first to congratulate and be proud for me. But he's never let age be an excuse, if he can't beat me on speed, he'll beat me on timing. I don't view the desire to be better as being negative, at least in this case.

Lamont
 

Gemini

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IcemanSK said:
I recently had a discussion w/ a 45 year old instructor who teaches sport MA. He told me that he started working out extra hard so he will always be a step ahead of his students. In his words, "I don't want them to think they can 'one up' the Old Man."

From an instructor point of view, this sounds like something I would say. I know the day will come when I'll be surpassed, but not anytime soon if I can help it. Will I quite teaching when it does? Of course not.

From a student point of view. Every day I try to surpass my instructor and every day I'm glad I can't. If that day ever comes will I quit practicing? Again, of course not.

By no means do I believe physical ability makes the instructor, but it hurt either.
 
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IcemanSK

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Blindside said:
My instructor does work harder to keep "stay ahead of the pack" as far as he is concerned that is the recipricol of him teaching us what he knows, we push him to be better.

I have competed directly against him, and if I won, he was the first to congratulate and be proud for me. But he's never let age be an excuse, if he can't beat me on speed, he'll beat me on timing. I don't view the desire to be better as being negative, at least in this case.

Lamont

Your instructor seems to have a balanced & healthy attitude about training. Recipricol is the key word. He helps you & you help him. He's not undercutting or tricking you to make himself look good. You grow & he grows. Its a win/win.
 

Kacey

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My students inspire me to keep improving... but even so, the greatest success I think I can have as an instructor is to have students who surpass me.
 

evenflow1121

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When I taught I tried to keep in shape for myself. Eventually however, I would feel a great accomplishment if someone I taught could surpass me, especially if they were younger. At least in my eyes the system that I teach has grown stronger with a passing generation. I think every student has a responsibility to be the best student they can be, and if some or a few or one even surpasses the teacher in ability I say great.
 

karatekid1975

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IcemanSK said:
I want my students to be better than me. I'm gonna continue to train to better....for me. But I want my students to excel.

This is how my TSD instructor felt. He WANTED us to be better than him. He still trained and the whole nine yards, but he felt he has done his job if his students excelled over him.
 

Last Fearner

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IcemanSK said:
I recently had a discussion w/ a 45 year old instructor who teaches sport MA. He told me that he started working out extra hard so he will always be a step ahead of his students. In his words, "I don't want them to think they can 'one up' the Old Man."
Do you feel this way about how you see your relationship to your students? I'm curious.

As you probably know, I'm 46, and this type of thing crosses my mind to some extent. I agree with those who say that it is a good thing if the student becomes better than the teacher. I believe this is a natural process, but not one that happens right away.

In that regard, I agree with Gemini - - I don't intend for it to happen anytime soon. I believe that the younger, healthier students fight like tigers, but the older, more experienced masters fight like lions. We may take a few hits, but we use our age, wisdom, and sneakiness to out-maneuver our younger, faster, even stronger opponents.

My instructor is an American, in his 50's, and is an 8th Dan. He can still inflict some major damage, and I would not want to tangle with him. However, he has paid me compliments on many occasions by telling our students that I have surpassed him in many ways. I don't know if that is true, but I appreciate his acknowledments, and I know he is proud of the fact that he launched my career as a Taekwondo student and Instructor 30 years ago. I am the product of his teaching (along with other Grandmasters), and I will always respect him for that.

I keep in shape for now, and let those "cocky" students know that the "Lion" can still rip people apart, but I am aware that the day will come when I have to rely more on the respect, and admiration that my students have for the knowledge I offer more than the physical skills my old body can, or can not perform. There are often young students (teens and twenties) that want to prove they are better than their instructor by "beating" them in sparring - - I don't mind educating them on the facts of life once in awhile, but I don't go overboard with it. I still see smiles on my student's faces when they see what this old man can do! :wink1:

:bow:
Old, but not dead!
Chief Master Eisenhart
 

MartialIntent

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Last Fearner said:
In that regard, I agree with Gemini - - I don't intend for it to happen anytime soon. I believe that the younger, healthier students fight like tigers, but the older, more experienced masters fight like lions. We may take a few hits, but we use our age, wisdom, and sneakiness to out-maneuver our younger, faster, even stronger opponents.
I think this is a very valid point. The implication is that if the older master / instructor cannot keep up with his younger apprentice then the art itself is only a young man's art.

You make a very good point though - the mind is the best weapon we have available to us. And it only gets BETTER with age!

Respects!
 

Adept

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Gemini said:
From a student point of view. Every day I try to surpass my instructor and every day I'm glad I can't. If that day ever comes will I quit practicing? Again, of course not.

I think this is important to highlight. As a young male learning the martial arts, I always wanted to 'one-up the old man'. And trying to do so made me push myself harder.

I'm glad my instructor at the time kept himself in enough shape that I never could, because it would have removed a persistant goal I was aiming for.

Keeping one step ahead of your students, especially when talking about young male students, is a good way to utilise their ego and testosterone to get better results.
 

TigerWoman

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At 56, I know I will not ever get better physically. At 47 when I started, I was in overall better knee health. I just want to maintain at this point. I hope, by starting, leading kickboxing classes, to get more women into this art that has given me so much. Already I see a product of my efforts and that is enough, I don't need to prove superiority nor train that way. I instead want to tell them I was there at the beginning once as they were and started at a late age. I work with their disabiltiies and physical problems, just as I work with mine, and lead by example, that they too can work and derive their possibilities or capabilities out the practice of TKD. TW
 
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IcemanSK

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wynnema said:
thats class.

The funny part is, he has it blasting throughout the whole class time. He was trying to talk w/ his students one day & I went to turn it down so the could hear him. He got mad at me. I guess ya don't mess w/ the tunes for any reason.
 

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My instructor just turned 43 and I know she could easily whip my butt (I am 28) in sparring, self defense escape, pretty much anything. She is a great example and role model. She just flat out works hard, to keep up with herself I think, not with her students. :)
 
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IcemanSK

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tkd_jen said:
My instructor just turned 43 and I know she could easily whip my butt (I am 28) in sparring, self defense escape, pretty much anything. She is a great example and role model. She just flat out works hard, to keep up with herself I think, not with her students. :)

The guy I'm talking about is worried about his 11 year old students winning a point match against him.
 

tkd_jen

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IcemanSK said:
Yeah, that's way off topic. Sorry. I want my students to be better than me. I'm gonna continue to train to better....for me. But I want my students to excel.

That's an awesome attitude. It reminds me of my instructor. When a student gets frustrated for her "picking on their technique" she reminds us that if she didn't care about us she wouldn't try to make us better, she'd just let us have crappy kicks. They teach us that when they try to help you improve, they are trying to make you better than them, by having you not only learn from your mistakes, but theirs as well. It's all about attitude.
 

Jonathan Randall

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tkd_jen said:
That's an awesome attitude. It reminds me of my instructor. When a student gets frustrated for her "picking on their technique" she reminds us that if she didn't care about us she wouldn't try to make us better, she'd just let us have crappy kicks. They teach us that when they try to help you improve, they are trying to make you better than them, by having you not only learn from your mistakes, but theirs as well. It's all about attitude.

Welcome to Martial Talk, TKD Jen!

Good for your instructor.
 
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