should I tell my karate teacher I'm joining a Bjj school instead.

johnT

White Belt
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
7
I have been at my Karate/Eskrima school for 6 years and have attained 2nd degree black. I attend regularly and additionally have a weekly private lesson with my sensei. There are 2 martial arts schools in my smallish to medium sized town, the other being BJJ. I have recently joined this BJJ school and intend to quit my Karate/Eskrima school. The question is should I tell my sensei that I'm leaving his school to join the other, Bjj school. This may hurt his feeling, piss him off, disappoint him or something of this nature. Or should I just leave without telling him about the joining. I want to do the appropriate thing here.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
19,253
Reaction score
4,757
Location
Covington, WA
Depends on your relationship. You really owe him nothing more than you would anyone youve paid for a service. If you dont talk to him, you will certainly burn a bridge, which isnt usually a good idea. That said, he may take your leaving as a defection, and burn the bridge anyway. Hard to say.

Also, its not dishonest to just leave, any more than it would be dishonest for you to stop going to your local sports bar in favor of the new one down the road.
 

Headhunter

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
4,765
Reaction score
1,592
If you want to then do it it not don't it's none of his business either way
 

Finlay

Green Belt
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
155
Reaction score
37
Location
Kuala Lumpur
i depends on the relationship you have with him i guess.

Can i ask why you want to quit a school that you have spent enough time in to attain a 2nd degree. This may have some bearing on whether or not you speak to your instructor
 

Headhunter

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
4,765
Reaction score
1,592
Depends on your relationship. You really owe him nothing more than you would anyone youve paid for a service. If you dont talk to him, you will certainly burn a bridge, which isnt usually a good idea. That said, he may take your leaving as a defection, and burn the bridge anyway. Hard to say.

Also, its not dishonest to just leave, any more than it would be dishonest for you to stop going to your local sports bar in favor of the new one down the road.
Also to add to that I would say be careful though because as I've said it is no ones business but their own but the op has said he lives in an small town with only 2 martial art schools so there's a good chance the guys know each other
 

Headhunter

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
4,765
Reaction score
1,592
Also going To add why do you need to quit? Why not just reduce your training time in karate maybe just do once a week or once every few weeks even. Again it's your choice you do what you want but just another option
 

_Simon_

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
3,554
Reaction score
1,891
Location
Australia
G'day John welcome to MT :)

Yeah it's a tricky one, of course there's nothing you have to do, but it's a nice sign of respect and courtesy to at least let them know. There is a relationship that's formed, even if you're not close close, there is still one, and especially being a senior grade within the school even moreso.

When I left my previous style I was going to chat to my instructor at the break up night for the year but there wasn't a good opportunity, so I wrote him an email (a very very lengthy email haha) just explaining that I was moving on and why. Was incredibly emotional for me and I've chatted with him about it alot back and forth and he was very understanding and supportive of my decision to move on. As much as he didn't want to see me go he fully understood and felt it a great loss for the dojo.

To some martial arts is like a business transaction, you pay for a service, and they provide it for you. For me it's something more and much deeper, and it's a vast learning experience that occurs over time, and a connection that's shared with people. Trust is built, good times and tough times are shared and celebrated, support is given, encouragement, and a general spirit that's developed in the dojo. I was really grateful for all that it gave me hence why I felt I needed to let my instructor know and to thank him for all he did for me.

So it all depends on what the dojo and martial art has been for you and meant for you, and there's no right or wrong here. Obviously you feel it's time to move on and that happens and take a courage to follow through on that. If you do want to let your instructor know it doesn't have to be a big deal or fanfare about it if you don't want, otherwise there's no obligation to let him know.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,741
Reaction score
8,371
Location
Maui
John T, welcome to MartialTalk, bro.

People come and go from Martial Arts schools continuously. Train for a month then quit, or six months, a year, a few years, a decade. Or train X amount of time and go to another style, or another school. Or X amount of time and move to a different exercise/hobby/health option. It is a constant flux. Always has been, always will be. Leaving a school, any school, isn't really any big whoop - unless you don't have any other place to train.

This is not about your Karate instructor and it's not about your BJJ instructor, it's about you.

So, whatever you feel most comfortable doing is more than likely the best way.
 

PiedmontChun

Purple Belt
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
323
Reaction score
134
- The American / Western thinking / Consumerist / Individualist in me would say you technically owe nothing and it would just be a respectful courtesy to sit down and let your instructor know, so good on you if you do it but certainly not required of you whatsoever.
- The Traditional Martial Artist ethos in me says it would be disrespectful NOT to sit down and let your instructor know, thank him for his instruction over the years, etc - and to not do so could cast a negative shadow over your standing with them or damage the relationship should you ever wish to return or be involved in your prior art / school.
Either way, both would point to the same outcome as awkward as it might be to do.

BJJ is very different from Karate, apples to oranges, so if you have a keen interest in grappling, they can't really take it personally going a different direction.
 

Martial D

Senior Master
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
3,296
Reaction score
1,049
I have been at my Karate/Eskrima school for 6 years
...
I want to do the appropriate thing here.

What the appropriate thing is is contingent on missing details.

What are your reasons for the switch?

Would you consider your instructor a friend? Do you have any sort of relationship to him outside the dojo? What is your interaction like?
 

JR 137

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 26, 2015
Messages
5,162
Reaction score
3,218
Location
In the dojo
It really depends on your relationship with the teacher and your role in the dojo. Are you just another face in the crowd, or are you a person that has taken on responsibilities?

No student should feel bad, guilty, ashamed, nor threatened when its time to leave a dojo. Unless of course theres some shady or shameful stuff theyre guilty of.

If youre a teacher at any level or people depend on you to do certain things, you absolutely should tell your instructor youre leaving. Just not showing up again when students are coming to class and no ones there to teach or whatever else you do isnt the right way to do things. It doesnt seem like thats really the case here because you probably wouldve mentioned it in your post, but Im trying to cover the bases here.

While I nor anyone else knows the intricacies (or lack there of) of your relationship with the the instructor and the rest of the dojo, I think its generally in poor taste to just walk away without any communication. If your relationship is normal on any level, theres been some good experiences there. People have been good to you and youve been good to them. Dont throw that away. Do you want a place where you feel like you cant go back to, or a place where you could drop in whenever just to say hi and catch up? You say its a small town; Im sure youll bump into people randomly. Do you want to feel uncomfortable whenever you spot them off in the distance, or do you want to be able to see them without any odd feelings?

Forget about all the stupid martial art stereotype stuff. These people are probably friends at some level. These relationships are what make us human.

There was a 1st dan who left our dojo within the last year. Shes a good person, and she was a welcomed face in the dojo. She wasnt anyone special, I guess you could say. She didnt teach nor take on any responsibilities. In the grand scheme of things, her being there or not being there didnt change anything beyond another friendly personality being around. She didnt hang out with people outside the dojo. So in all it wasnt like the dojo lost this person who was a strong presence.

She told our CI that she felt she couldnt make the commitment she felt her training deserved. She is self employed and has an erratic work schedule. Add family to that, and she felt she was half-assing karate and wasnt doing things the way she thought she should be doing it. Understandable and respectable reason for leaving IMO. Within about 3 months, my CI found out she was training under a karate teacher whod been kicked out of our dojo several years ago for some pretty bad things. Shed been there for several months before she left our school.

My CI is a very good guy. He doesnt feel anyones obligated to train with him. Hes never given anyone a hard time about leaving. Hes one of those rare people I put on a pedestal of respect; not because of karate nor some stupid stereotype of life coach guru; but because hes that quiet, well spoken type whos genuine and always seemingly does the right thing. Even when people have seriously wronged him, hes got a way of staying classy about the situation.

My CI wasnt angry that she left. He wasnt angry she went to someone who he had serious problems with in the past and still occasionally gives him new problems. If people are going to be happier somewhere else, hes genuinely happy for them. Hes never bad mouthed anyone for leaving.

He was disappointed. Disappointed she lied to his face. When I asked him where shes been, he told me the story. Paraphrasing, he said It doesnt bother me in any way that she went to him. She had a good relationship with him when he was here, its closer to her home and work, shes got several friends there, and the schedule fits her better. If she likes the way he teaches, its a no-brainer to train there instead. Hes a good teacher. What gets me is why did she feel like she had to lie to me? Shes seen others leave, and shes seen people tell me theyre going to train under him, and Ive never given anyone a hard time. And Ive never bashed anyone after theyve left. Its just disappointing.

If your CI has been good to you, just be honest. You cant control how hes going to act, all you can do is control how you act. If this is a person that wronged you and doesnt deserve the respect of a goodbye, then walk away. If not, treat them the way youd want to be treated. You obviously think just walking away isnt the best way, otherwise you wouldnt have asked.

Sorry for the novel.
 
Last edited:

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
5,749
Reaction score
1,418
Depends on your relationship. You really owe him nothing more than you would anyone youve paid for a service. If you dont talk to him, you will certainly burn a bridge, which isnt usually a good idea. That said, he may take your leaving as a defection, and burn the bridge anyway. Hard to say.

Also, its not dishonest to just leave, any more than it would be dishonest for you to stop going to your local sports bar in favor of the new one down the road.

If you leave without saying anything, pretty much a guarantee you burn the bridge.
If you leave and talk to him, there's a chance to burn the bridge and a chance not to.

I'd rather opt for the option that has a bigger chance of not burning the bridge.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
19,253
Reaction score
4,757
Location
Covington, WA
If you leave without saying anything, pretty much a guarantee you burn the bridge.
If you leave and talk to him, there's a chance to burn the bridge and a chance not to.

I'd rather opt for the option that has a bigger chance of not burning the bridge.
exactly. Or at least burn it knowingly.
 

_Simon_

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
3,554
Reaction score
1,891
Location
Australia
It really depends on your relationship with the teacher and your role in the dojo. Are you just another face in the crowd, or are you a person that has taken on responsibilities?

No student should feel bad, guilty, ashamed, nor threatened when its time to leave a dojo. Unless of course theres some shady or shameful stuff theyre guilty of.

If youre a teacher at any level or people depend on you to do certain things, you absolutely should tell your instructor youre leaving. Just not showing up again when students are coming to class and no ones there to teach or whatever else you do isnt the right way to do things. It doesnt seem like thats really the case here because you probably wouldve mentioned it in your post, but Im trying to cover the bases here.

While I nor anyone else knows the intricacies (or lack there of) of your relationship with the the instructor and the rest of the dojo, I think its generally in poor taste to just walk away without any communication. If your relationship is normal on any level, theres been some good experiences there. People have been good to you and youve been good to them. Dont throw that away. Do you want a place where you feel like you cant go back to, or a place where you could drop in whenever just to say hi and catch up? You say its a small town; Im sure youll bump into people randomly. Do you want to feel uncomfortable whenever you spot them off in the distance, or do you want to be able to see them without any odd feelings?

Forget about all the stupid martial art stereotype stuff. These people are probably friends at some level. These relationships are what make us human.

There was a 1st dan who left our dojo within the last year. Shes a good person, and she was a welcomed face in the dojo. She wasnt anyone special, I guess you could say. She didnt teach nor take on any responsibilities. In the grand scheme of things, her being there or not being there didnt change anything beyond another friendly personality being around. She didnt hang out with people outside the dojo. So in all it wasnt like the dojo lost this person who was a strong presence.

She told our CI that she felt she couldnt make the commitment she felt her training deserved. She is self employed and has an erratic work schedule. Add family to that, and she felt she was half-assing karate and wasnt doing things the way she thought she should be doing it. Understandable and respectable reason for leaving IMO. Within about 3 months, my CI found out she was training under a karate teacher whod been kicked out of our dojo several years ago for some pretty bad things. Shed been there for several months before she left our school.

My CI is a very good guy. He doesnt feel anyones obligated to train with him. Hes never given anyone a hard time about leaving. Hes one of those rare people I put on a pedestal of respect; not because of karate nor some stupid stereotype of life coach guru; but because hes that quiet, well spoken type whos genuine and always seemingly does the right thing. Even when people have seriously wronged him, hes got a way of staying classy about the situation.

My CI wasnt angry that she left. He wasnt angry she went to someone who he had serious problems with in the past and still occasionally gives him new problems. If people are going to be happier somewhere else, hes genuinely happy for them. Hes never bad mouthed anyone for leaving.

He was disappointed. Disappointed she lied to his face. When I asked him where shes been, he told me the story. Paraphrasing, he said It doesnt bother me in any way that she went to him. She had a good relationship with him when he was here, its closer to her home and work, shes got several friends there, and the schedule fits her better. If she likes the way he teaches, its a no-brainer to train there instead. Hes a good teacher. What gets me is why did she feel like she had to lie to me? Shes seen others leave, and shes seen people tell me theyre going to train under him, and Ive never given anyone a hard time. And Ive never bashed anyone after theyve left. Its just disappointing.

If your CI has been good to you, just be honest. You cant control how hes going to act, all you can do is control how you act. If this is a person that wronged you and doesnt deserve the respect of a goodbye, then walk away. If not, treat them the way youd want to be treated. You obviously think just walking away isnt the best way, otherwise you wouldnt have asked.

Sorry for the novel.
Ah wow, thanks for sharing that. It is interesting why she felt she couldn't be honest with him. Maybe out of fear of his reaction and disappointing him (even though she's seen others leave to train with the other guy), maybe wasn't a conscious logical thing, but possible authority and guilt issues.. but very interesting.

A side note/off topic: it is strange the bizarre notion of 'loyalty' within martial arts, I think alot of people fear breaking this magical notion of loyalty that's peddled around.. to me loyalty refers moreso to being loyal to the teachings and following them in order to get the most benefit from what its aim is. I don't think it's about loyalty to the club. When it gets presented in that way from the instructors it just looks like control to me... perhaps that's why many struggle with the idea of leaving their club and ponder how they should go about it...?
 

Brian King

Master of Arts
Supporting Member
MT Mentor
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
1,594
Reaction score
461
Location
Bellevue, Washington USA
Treat others how you would like to be treated. One way to decide what to do is to put yourself in the others shoes. If you had spent 6 years teaching someone how would you feel if they disappeared and then you found out they were seeking instruction elsewhere, but never discussed their move with you?

Regards
Brian King
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,980
Reaction score
5,841
It really depends on your relationship with the teacher and your role in the dojo. Are you just another face in the crowd, or are you a person that has taken on responsibilities?

No student should feel bad, guilty, ashamed, nor threatened when its time to leave a dojo. Unless of course theres some shady or shameful stuff theyre guilty of.

If youre a teacher at any level or people depend on you to do certain things, you absolutely should tell your instructor youre leaving. Just not showing up again when students are coming to class and no ones there to teach or whatever else you do isnt the right way to do things. It doesnt seem like thats really the case here because you probably wouldve mentioned it in your post, but Im trying to cover the bases here.

While I nor anyone else knows the intricacies (or lack there of) of your relationship with the the instructor and the rest of the dojo, I think its generally in poor taste to just walk away without any communication. If your relationship is normal on any level, theres been some good experiences there. People have been good to you and youve been good to them. Dont throw that away. Do you want a place where you feel like you cant go back to, or a place where you could drop in whenever just to say hi and catch up? You say its a small town; Im sure youll bump into people randomly. Do you want to feel uncomfortable whenever you spot them off in the distance, or do you want to be able to see them without any odd feelings?

Forget about all the stupid martial art stereotype stuff. These people are probably friends at some level. These relationships are what make us human.

There was a 1st dan who left our dojo within the last year. Shes a good person, and she was a welcomed face in the dojo. She wasnt anyone special, I guess you could say. She didnt teach nor take on any responsibilities. In the grand scheme of things, her being there or not being there didnt change anything beyond another friendly personality being around. She didnt hang out with people outside the dojo. So in all it wasnt like the dojo lost this person who was a strong presence.

She told our CI that she felt she couldnt make the commitment she felt her training deserved. She is self employed and has an erratic work schedule. Add family to that, and she felt she was half-assing karate and wasnt doing things the way she thought she should be doing it. Understandable and respectable reason for leaving IMO. Within about 3 months, my CI found out she was training under a karate teacher whod been kicked out of our dojo several years ago for some pretty bad things. Shed been there for several months before she left our school.

My CI is a very good guy. He doesnt feel anyones obligated to train with him. Hes never given anyone a hard time about leaving. Hes one of those rare people I put on a pedestal of respect; not because of karate nor some stupid stereotype of life coach guru; but because hes that quiet, well spoken type whos genuine and always seemingly does the right thing. Even when people have seriously wronged him, hes got a way of staying classy about the situation.

My CI wasnt angry that she left. He wasnt angry she went to someone who he had serious problems with in the past and still occasionally gives him new problems. If people are going to be happier somewhere else, hes genuinely happy for them. Hes never bad mouthed anyone for leaving.

He was disappointed. Disappointed she lied to his face. When I asked him where shes been, he told me the story. Paraphrasing, he said It doesnt bother me in any way that she went to him. She had a good relationship with him when he was here, its closer to her home and work, shes got several friends there, and the schedule fits her better. If she likes the way he teaches, its a no-brainer to train there instead. Hes a good teacher. What gets me is why did she feel like she had to lie to me? Shes seen others leave, and shes seen people tell me theyre going to train under him, and Ive never given anyone a hard time. And Ive never bashed anyone after theyve left. Its just disappointing.

If your CI has been good to you, just be honest. You cant control how hes going to act, all you can do is control how you act. If this is a person that wronged you and doesnt deserve the respect of a goodbye, then walk away. If not, treat them the way youd want to be treated. You obviously think just walking away isnt the best way, otherwise you wouldnt have asked.

Sorry for the novel.

That is reliant on your instructor being a good guy.

If he is a bit of a weirdo lying might be better.
 

JR 137

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 26, 2015
Messages
5,162
Reaction score
3,218
Location
In the dojo
That is reliant on your instructor being a good guy.

If he is a bit of a weirdo lying might be better.
Absolutely. If hes a good guy, treat him as such. If hes not, just walk away and be done. If the time comes that I need to leave my dojo, Ill let my teacher know why. Ive always wanted to try judo. If the day comes where I feel like I need to do it and I cant train at both places at the same time, Ill tell my teacher. I know how hell react - a bit sad to see me go, but hell wish me luck and tell me the doors always open. Theres no blood in-blood out loyalty pact like a prison gang. I consider him and everyone else there a friend. I pay my dues, so its not like I owe anyone anything.

If he and the rest there were a bunch of douchers, Id just leave. Even then, a simple this just isnt for me would be said and left at that.
 
OP
J

johnT

White Belt
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
7
All of these responses are good and each one is valid to different individual personal circumstances. Thank you all. I've decided to indeed tell him I am going to leave to try out the BJJ school. I would like to still have connection with my current school, ie seminars etc. I am going to ask him about Headhunter's suggestion which is to attend class once every couple of weeks and maybe do a private still every couple of weeks. These posts did help with relieving the anxiety which happens when one needs to "breakup".
 

Mitlov

Purple Belt
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
161
Why not just tell him that you have a hankering to do something totally different for a while, so you're going to "take a break" and do grappling? I wouldn't use the term "quit" if you're just craving something different. You might be back in two months or two years or never...but why burn a bridge unless you're angry and know it's never
 

Latest Discussions

Top