Master / Student Relationship, and Honest Discussions

msmitht

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In your opinion, does the Master / Student relationship preclude honest discussions? For instance, if you were thinking that a certain aspect of the curriculum wasn't your cup of tea, would you feel able to discuss it with the Master, or would you look elsewhere without discussing it?
If you cannot have an honest discussion with them then you should be looking elsewhere for instruction. If you have a problem with a certain part of the curriculum and you should be looking elsewhere for instruction, possibly In a different style. Asking Your instructor to change the curriculum just for you or to allow you to Omit certain part of training will change your overall EXPERIENCE. It can and will also lead to others doing the same. I've had many students tell me they do not wish to spar in my TKD program. The rules say that they have to spar at exams after green belt so they can get the green but that's it. If the student only wants to fight and not do forms or SD then they will not advance, ever.
In BJJ that would be like asking to not spar. Lol. Rotflol! You would be welcome to attend but a white belt you will be forever.
 

Earl Weiss

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..................... I've had many students tell me they do not wish to spar in my TKD program. The rules say that they have to spar at exams after green belt so they can get the green but that's it. ........................

I've told students this is like learning to swim without getting wet.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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If you cannot have an honest discussion with them then you should be looking elsewhere for instruction.

For example, I think our "warmups" of 20-30 minutes of a 60 minute class are too long. My viewpoint is that I can do my own jogging, pushups, situps etc, and would rather focus on tkd. With that said, I imagine a lot of parents get their kids to join tkd for exercise. I'm tempted to mention my viewpoint, but I have held off. I'm not sure how the discussion would go.
 

Dirty Dog

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For example, I think our "warmups" of 20-30 minutes of a 60 minute class are too long. My viewpoint is that I can do my own jogging, pushups, situps etc, and would rather focus on tkd. With that said, I imagine a lot of parents get their kids to join tkd for exercise. I'm tempted to mention my viewpoint, but I have held off. I'm not sure how the discussion would go.

As an instructor, I will say that I hate spending 20-30 minutes on warmups and fitness, rather than TKD.
Here's what I tell students. The more time they spend on this stuff at home, the less we will spend on it in class.
The beginners class tends to spend less time on their own, so more time in class. The more advanced students have will do more on their own, so we spend less time in class. Maybe 5 minutes and then do some forms for warmups.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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Agreed, you can't please everyone so you try to please most. My thinking of the thread was that I think some people tend to just leave a school without saying why, for fear of offending. In my mind, the school then loses out on the honest (but respectful) feedback to would either lead to changes or ate least understanding of the reason the person left.
 

drop bear

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For example, I think our "warmups" of 20-30 minutes of a 60 minute class are too long. My viewpoint is that I can do my own jogging, pushups, situps etc, and would rather focus on tkd. With that said, I imagine a lot of parents get their kids to join tkd for exercise. I'm tempted to mention my viewpoint, but I have held off. I'm not sure how the discussion would go.

The fitness isnt going to get done on their own or wont get done well and you will wind up with crap tkders.

Being unfit impacts on the rest of your training. You cant drill as long. You cant spar as long and your technique goes south more quickly.

And being good is about time spent doing quality training. Not time spent having rests.

I would not leave the fitness up to the fighter if i was serious about putting them in harms way.

Oh and half an hour conditioning then an hour class.

And look you could test this set up a group to come in and do conditioning off their own bat before class. If nobody turns up then you get an indication of what they are actually doing on their own time.
 

Leo89

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In your opinion, does the Master / Student relationship preclude honest discussions? For instance, if you were thinking that a certain aspect of the curriculum wasn't your cup of tea, would you feel able to discuss it with the Master, or would you look elsewhere without discussing it?
I'm honest with them about my knee problem, and they let you test when you are ready, which gives me time to fully master the Kiban form set, while stretching and working out.

But I feel like they could teach us more about grabs/throws.

He doesn't sell the student handbook, but I love the school I attend.

No 10 yr old black belts, no forcing to test early, so I don't really have much to complain about.
 

Leo89

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In your opinion, does the Master / Student relationship preclude honest discussions? For instance, if you were thinking that a certain aspect of the curriculum wasn't your cup of tea, would you feel able to discuss it with the Master, or would you look elsewhere without discussing it?
I feel that I can not openly discuss things with my master.

He teaches taekwondo as karate would be taught, but he teaches us nothing of form applications, nothing about KKeokgi, Neomgigi, Ppaegi, and it ticks me off, but I feel a calling from taekwondo.

As if someone, or many, must restore this mixed martial art, someone to give it salvation from its poor reputation.

So I won't give up on taekwondo, I plan to fully master it, even if it means joining the south Korean military and living in South Korea for a while.
 

Earl Weiss

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The fitness isnt going to get done on their own or wont get done well and you will wind up with crap tkders.
Being unfit impacts on the rest of your training. You cant drill as long. You cant spar as long and your technique goes south more quickly.
And being good is about time spent doing quality training. Not time spent having rests.
I would not leave the fitness up to the fighter if i was serious about putting them in harms way.
Oh and half an hour conditioning then an hour class.
And look you could test this set up a group to come in and do conditioning off their own bat before class. If nobody turns up then you get an indication of what they are actually doing on their own time.

Herein lies the need to refine the discussion. There is conditioning and there is conditioning. Cardio, Strength, Flexibility. Few have the luxery of spending a half hour on each, every class. That is 90 minute before you spent a second on learning or practicing a skill. To some extent you can combine them. A few minutes of each such as running, Stretching and weight bearing exercises then use then again as part of the drills. While you may improve the condition of students if you spend 10 minutes on each every class, the improvement will be nominal.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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I've told students this is like learning to swim without getting wet.
I would look at it like a guy who wants to jog without entering a race. The goals of the person would likely be to have some exercise, fun, maybe get out of the house and meet people, etc.
 

Earl Weiss

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I would look at it like a guy who wants to jog without entering a race. The goals of the person would likely be to have some exercise, fun, maybe get out of the house and meet people, etc.

The guy can also tell his friends "I do MA" and have them think he's tough, perhaps also think that of himself, Something he would not be able to do if the hobby was jogging.
 

oftheherd1

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The guy can also tell his friends "I do MA" and have them think he's tough, perhaps also think that of himself, Something he would not be able to do if the hobby was jogging.

Tell me it isn't so! :wideyed: :D
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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The guy can also tell his friends "I do MA" and have them think he's tough, perhaps also think that of himself, Something he would not be able to do if the hobby was jogging.
True, I go to the UFC gym, and by the sounds of it, someone may think that it's a hardcore gym like on The Ultimate Fighter. The reality is I am not allowed to punch mitts with someone other than the coach.

In any event, I did chose my words carefully. No one calls it "jogging" anymore, people say they are into "running". They may say they "ran" 5 km in 35 minutes, but that is not really "running".

Personally, I like jogging. I also dislike sparring, since I often can't trust the other person. I told my instructor no more sparring for me, after one night of first "no contact" sparring, with no protection, where I was giving opportunities to a 13 year kid and he back kicked me hard, leading to pain for 3 weeks. Then later that night, in light contact sparring with a hogu but no head protection, a 2nd dan woman kicked me in the head. WTF, it's not worth it.

PS: I was thinking of saying to the GJN that I think it is a bad idea to do sparring without equipment, but I didn't think I should say voice my opinion. So I only voiced my conclusion.
 

Earl Weiss

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PS: I was thinking of saying to the GJN that I think it is a bad idea to do sparring without equipment, but I didn't think I should say voice my opinion. So I only voiced my conclusion.

It may vary by country and state buy my liability insurance carrier requires it.. Professional fighters fight in a padded ring for a reason. If they go down hard and the head slams into the floor, the padded floor protects them . Few MA gyms have this type of floor and even amateur boxing requires headgear.
 

gpseymour

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For example, I think our "warmups" of 20-30 minutes of a 60 minute class are too long. My viewpoint is that I can do my own jogging, pushups, situps etc, and would rather focus on tkd. With that said, I imagine a lot of parents get their kids to join tkd for exercise. I'm tempted to mention my viewpoint, but I have held off. I'm not sure how the discussion would go.
1/3 to 1/2 of class on warm-up? That seems a little (very little) bit excessive. It should be possible to get reasonably warmed-up within 15-20 minutes. Hard to shorten it more than that - that's why I opted for 90 minute classes. I'd rather spend 15-20 minutes warming up, then have a bit more than an hour left. When I did 60-minute classes, I made it clear that students were to show up already warmed up, so we could abbreviate that segment of class.
 

gpseymour

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I feel that I can not openly discuss things with my master.

He teaches taekwondo as karate would be taught, but he teaches us nothing of form applications, nothing about KKeokgi, Neomgigi, Ppaegi, and it ticks me off, but I feel a calling from taekwondo.

As if someone, or many, must restore this mixed martial art, someone to give it salvation from its poor reputation.

So I won't give up on taekwondo, I plan to fully master it, even if it means joining the south Korean military and living in South Korea for a while.
I'll say this: if you can't discuss things with your master, once you've established yourself as a serious student who understands the art a bit, there may be something wrong. It's fine if the instructor says, "It's my decision, and it stays this way," but they shouldn't get bent out of shape just because you wanted to share your opinion.
 

WaterGal

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1/3 to 1/2 of class on warm-up? That seems a little (very little) bit excessive. It should be possible to get reasonably warmed-up within 15-20 minutes. Hard to shorten it more than that - that's why I opted for 90 minute classes. I'd rather spend 15-20 minutes warming up, then have a bit more than an hour left. When I did 60-minute classes, I made it clear that students were to show up already warmed up, so we could abbreviate that segment of class.

Agreed, plus..... there's a reason that cardio-kickboxing is a common gym class - doing a lot of kicking and punching can be a good workout in itself. So you could, for example, have your students do some jumping jacks, squats, & crunches and dynamic stretching for 10-15 minutes, and then have them practice kicking and punching in the air for a while while doing different footwork, grab some pads and practice with a partner, do some ladder drills, and then cool down doing your forms. That'll only do so much for building muscle, but if you keep them moving, you should be able to get them sweating and work their cardio.
 

Balrog

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In your opinion, does the Master / Student relationship preclude honest discussions? For instance, if you were thinking that a certain aspect of the curriculum wasn't your cup of tea, would you feel able to discuss it with the Master, or would you look elsewhere without discussing it?
There isn't anything that I would NOT talk to my instructor about. And I hope my students feel the same about me.
 

JR 137

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You should be able to ask your instructor questions. You should be able to voice your concerns. There's a caveat however. This should be done at the right place and time.

Questions or concerns about how the class is run or why something's in the syllabus or not in the syllabus should be addressed outside of class and in a one on one setting. Asking "why are we spending 30 minutes on warmup" during warmup puts him/her on the spot. Asking "why are we learning this, it'll never work" during the drill won't and shouldn't go over well.

Asking during a one on one conversation should get you honest answers. They may not be the answers you want to hear, but they should be honest. Your teacher owes you that, because he/she is your teacher. IMO a teacher owes it to his/her students to teach/explain the why and why not.

A teacher doesn't owe the student a custom curriculum, unless that's part of the agreement. I joined my dojo because Seido karate is being taught there. My teacher doesn't owe it to me to teach me BJJ submissions, Escrima tactics, nor ninja star throwing and disappearing acts. He owes me the Seido syllabus in and a proper progression and in a reasonably safe environment, and the way he teaches it and nothing else.

If I appropriate ask why, I should get an appropriate answer. If I can't accept his appropriate answer, I should find another place.
 

Tez3

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At our school, the head of the school use to have weekly meetings with the instructors. Each meeting would have a topic, and you'd have to prepare a presentation ahead of time on the topic: "how to deal with problem students", or "how to better run an open house". I think the goal was twofold: to get some new ideas for this school, and to get us thinking about how we'd run our own school if we had one. (At least one of our instructors aspires to that.) The meetings petered-out because people just kept getting too busy, but it was a great practice while we were doing it.

We suggested a lot of good ideas at those meetings, but generally speaking most ideas didn't wind up getting implemented because there's just so much inertia to the organization (it's a big school). The head of our school is very open to new ideas in general, but if they require much additional work...well, people are already busy.

Here's an example of a "free advertising" idea that I had:

A lot of public school PTAs raise money for the school by selling spirit-wear tee-shirts. So the PTA has an incentive to want to make spirit-wear more desirable, so that more parents buy spirit-wear for their children. Some PTAs will even work out small deals with local businesses to make the spirit-wear more desirable, like "free sprinkles at the ice cream shop if you wear your spirit-wear." The PTA advertises these deals as a way to get more parents to buy spirit-wear.

So here's my idea: a monthly spirit-wear day at the dojang. On spirit-wear day, if you wear a spirit-wear tee as your top, you can to line-up in the front of the class. So instead of lining up black-to-white belts, the students wearing spirit-wear get to line up at the front of the class. What does this get for the dojang? Well for one thing, kids at their schools talking about your dojang ("yah, I'm wearing my tee today so that I can line-up at the front of my taekwondo class"); but also, the PTA repeatedly mentioning your dojang to parents as a local business that supports the school. Free advertising!

Sorry, just read this and have no idea what 'spirit wear' is? Is it a company?
 
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