Overweight Karate Instructors

Tony Dismukes

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If you look at someone who is overweight and assume that aspect of their appearance means they are less disciplined than a thin person, you may be making a major mistake. A lot of it does come down to genetics. I have always eaten whatever and however much I felt like and I've always been slim. Even when I wasn't working out at all, my metabolism kept the pounds off. That's just how my body works - staying slender requires no effort at all. Someone else with a different metabolism might have to exercise fantastic self-discipline in their diet and exercise just to keep themselves from becoming morbidly obese.

Technique is a different issue. You would hope that an instructor would be able to move well enough to illustrate good technique. That's not to say an instructor who is too old and injured to perform all the moves can't be a good coach. If they have the eye to see what you need in order to improve and the communication skills to get their points across, they can still be very helpful. In those cases, though, it is a good idea to have an assistant instructor who can actually demonstrate the moves.
 

Tez3

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It also depends as well on your experience in martial arts, for a beginner it's often disappointing to watch real martial arts if all you have seen before is the film and television martial arts. Watching a class do basics can seem very prosaic compared to the jumping, leaping flashy stuff you can see on the big and little screens. Different styles can also seem duller than others and perhaps 'off balance'.
 
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mathemajikian

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Thanks for all the responses, most have them been eye opening. I don't think the instructors I met had any medical issues they just seemed to have bad eating habits. While talking to one I actually watched him finish off two large starbucks coffees, and a box of donuts.
 

Tez3

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Thanks for all the responses, most have them been eye opening. I don't think the instructors I met had any medical issues they just seemed to have bad eating habits. While talking to one I actually watched him finish off two large starbucks coffees, and a box of donuts.

While he was training? so where is this place where all the instructors are fat?
 

K-man

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Depends what you consider overweight as well, if you are a fan of stick thin girls for example then you'd consider most women to be 'overweight' compared to them. If you are looking for abs of steel a la pro MMA fighter you probably won't find many of them either outside professional fighters gyms and even then don't be surprised if you find what you think is overweight fighters there too, someone I know was considered fat and yet turned out to be a good fighter.
http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Rob-Broughton-10924
Judging a book by it's covers isn't a good idea :lookie:
Tez, I have abs of steel and a six pack to die for! Because I am so sensitive to the feelings of others, and I hate to show off, I actually keep my incredible body coverered with an insulating layer of flab. Just a disguise, of course. ;)
 

Tez3

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Tez, I have abs of steel and a six pack to die for! Because I am so sensitive to the feelings of others, and I hate to show off, I actually keep my incredible body coverered with an insulating layer of flab. Just a disguise, of course. ;)


I suppose that means I shall have to keep watching Bondi Beach rescue then! New series just started, first one New Year 2012. Rather like the newbie trainee, a bit of a bad boy, still like the old guy though, 62 still rescuing and rocking! He doesn't have the quite the abs of steel he used to etc but is still pulling them out of the water. I remember one episode where they had loads of people caught in a rip and he rescued someone by swimming with the rip instead of against it because he may not be young, may not be ripped by he's got the experience and knowledge gained in his longer life than the young uns.
 

K-man

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I suppose that means I shall have to keep watching Bondi Beach rescue then! New series just started, first one New Year 2012. Rather like the newbie trainee, a bit of a bad boy, still like the old guy though, 62 still rescuing and rocking! He doesn't have the quite the abs of steel he used to etc but is still pulling them out of the water. I remember one episode where they had loads of people caught in a rip and he rescued someone by swimming with the rip instead of against it because he may not be young, may not be ripped by he's got the experience and knowledge gained in his longer life than the young uns.
Just be careful of the term "old". At 62 he's still a little younger than me and I'm of the opinion that old is somewhere up round 80. Maybe you haven't heard, but sixty is the new forty! :s472:
 

Buka

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I don't think a Sensei's ability to teach should be judged by his body type. Everyone knows hair color is the key.
 

Aiki Lee

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Just be careful of the term "old". At 62 he's still a little younger than me and I'm of the opinion that old is somewhere up round 80. Maybe you haven't heard, but sixty is the new forty! :s472:

Heh heh, old is anyone over 30! At least it will be until I turn 30!
 

Manny

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My good ol days had gone, in my teen years I was pretty tall and lean not too flexible but height and strong so my TKD was very good, now at almost 45 and with maybe 30 kilos more yes I am not as quick as I used to be and maybe I am not as flexible as I was an maybe my stamina is not as good but I am a good teacher (my studentes say this), my tech is rich and I know how to teach and yes I can put my students in a bad situation if I want doing kyorugy.

Definetively ower weight is not a good thing but I can tell you it's better for me to teach TKD classes tha stay in home getting more kilos sitting in the couch dinner and watching tv.

I am fighting with my weight and yes I know I am succeding a little and never will be at the 70-80 kilograms level but I know that with hard work I could get thet 90 kilograms point, not easy but achivable.

Manny
 

Buka

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I've always told my students, "If you really love Martial training don't ever open your own school. Because when you do, your whole world changes."

There's a lot involved in the subject of overweight Karate instructors. Teaching Martial Arts is not an easy thing, but it's an important thing. I thank the good Lord for all that have taught me over the years. I don't think most of us go into the Arts with the thought "I want to be a Sensei". I think we just want to be able to do all those fascinating things we've seen up to that point.

Genetics has a lot to do with it. As the years pass, different body types change at different rates. If you're prone to be thin, that's going to be your baseline, if you're prone to be thicker, that's your baseline. Those are the cards you're dealt, playing them is usually different for everybody. Skinny guys will never worry about going up in gi size, heavier guys battle it all the time.

When you teach, you create the pace. Even if you're drilling with the class, you can't drill like you could when you were just a student in class, because now you have to watch and correct everybody. You have to answer every question, you have to inspire, you have to sometimes heed who just walked in, you have to deal with everything that's going on in the dojo. Your "hours" on the dojo are no longer hell bent for leather, instead, you're helping everyone else try to achieve that. At the same time, you're trying to pay the rent, schedule classes, deal with little Joey's mom, answer the phone, clean the bathrooms and nine million other things you didn't have to deal with when you were just a student. Your energy and calorie burning rate is not the same as it was because you're just not training as hard - even though you want to.

I've seen many people gain weight as they age in the Arts. But the most weight is usually put on by those who teach, as opposed to those who do not. But as I think about it, I've seen fewer instructors from grappling arts put on weight compared to instructors of stand up Arts. I feel that a considerable weight gain has a more detrimental effect on kicking, footwork and sparring endurance than it does on technique in the grappling arts, especially rolling.

I'm a thin guy, always have been. And us thin guys tend to think we know more about losing weight than anybody else. I certainly did. In 2007 I decided to take a year off from training. I had relocated, took on new responsibilities, and I was just plain tired. I had been training a long time without a break. So I took one. And ate the same way I always had. I put on 27 pounds in ten months. I freaked and went right back to training. I figured I'd take it off in six months. It took two and a half years. I won't make that mistake again. And I'll never look at a heavier person again and think, "Why don't they just get in shape?"
 

Omar B

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I'm a bit late, but to chime in. No, I would not learn karate from an overweight instructor no matter how credentialed. It's like when Jim Harbaugh took over as coach for the 49ers. He has rules about how the coaching staff should look and act, this includes being fit, not smoking, having a stable marriage. Sport is a culture and that culture has to be observed by all involved.
 

Tez3

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However 'overweight' is subjective. Is 'overweigt' someone who hasn't got a six pack or someone who is a couple of pounds heavier than they used to be? Can the OP tell us what he considered overweight please? Is it pounds and pounds or just that they aren't lean mean fighting machines?
 

seasoned

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So, When they demonstrate techniques they look really bad and, horribly unbalanced; however, some of them seem to have a lot of martial arts experience/knowledge. ?

I think the OP is saying they could not funtion properly...........


I don't think the instructors I met had any medical issues they just seemed to have bad eating habits. While talking to one I actually watched him finish off two large starbucks coffees, and a box of donuts.

And, this may be a part of it. Just saying................ :)
 

Tez3

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As the OP has put their location as being in the UK I'd really like to know about the who's and the where's of these 'obese' instructors.
 

Carol

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Just be careful of the term "old". At 62 he's still a little younger than me and I'm of the opinion that old is somewhere up round 80. Maybe you haven't heard, but sixty is the new forty! :s472:

That means we are close in age. :bangahead: ;)
 
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mathemajikian

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As the OP has put their location as being in the UK I'd really like to know about the who's and the where's of these 'obese' instructors.

Sorry, I need to update my profile. I'm nolonger in the UK, I'm currently in the state of Nebraska in the USA.
 

Tez3

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Sorry, I need to update my profile. I'm nolonger in the UK, I'm currently in the state of Nebraska in the USA.


Ah OK, I was wondering if you were getting at our Brit instructors :). It's not that we don't have overweight people here but we don't have a huge amount of martial arts instructors.
 

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