It is the policy of some schools to not allow the parents to watch classes.
Hi folks!Ron Sanchez called me last night to inform me that a Costa Mesa, Ca. karate instructor had been arrested for child molestation with a 4yr. old child. He teaches at the USSD studio. It is the policy of some schools to not allow the parents to watch classes. I just commented last week that I would not allow my children to be at any facility that would not allow a viewing area for the parents. Do any of you school owners out there do this? At my school we do not have private rooms. I would not ever want even a hint of wrong doing. We have an open area so that all classes can be viewed from the street and from the stands. I encourage parental involvement as long as the teaching environment is respected.
Our prayers go out to the child, parents, and other studio members. What a terrible situation with many victims.
However, I will say that avoiding this stuff is impossible.
The instructors at my school have proven the test of time. Many of our instructors started with me as children. If the desire was to get bigger with more schools it would be impossible to maintain quality control much less know the character of each instructor. Many chain school systems put more emphasis on extracting money from their students than developing quality instruction. With the desire to grow and have more schools you run the risk of putting unqualified people in positions of trust. This is a black eye for the karate world and a tragic event for the victims, their families, and the students.
I feel that being a karate instructor is a privilege and a position that has to be earned. Unfortunately, when money takes first priority over the quality of that which you teach, many things suffer.
I would be interested in finding out what most instructors believe is our primary purpose in teaching. Is it teaching self defense, character development, fitness, etc? Is it a quest for financial security, fame, power, feeding of your ego, etc?
In my personal experience of over 40 years of teaching I have found that priorities change. Things that used to be of great importance now are no longer on the top of the list. If the desire is to be the best instructor you can be, then it makes sense to be excited about the growth you will experience as a teacher. Like it or not, you are an example of something. Do you want to be a role model, or a model of a roll? Do you go out and use alcohol and drugs and then tell your students to abstain? Do you express to your students to show self control and then use profanity like you are out on the streets?
With the recent molestation charges here in Orange County it drives home the fact that as instructors we are in a position to influence people around us. What kind of influence to we want to have on our students? Working with the Royal Family Kids Camps I have had the opportunity to see what abuse can do to children. I also have seen what good loving people can do to help erase the scars of tragic events. I encourage us all to take our responsibilities seriously and remember that whatever we do there will be rewards or punishment for our actions.
What really happens here is the whole Martial Art community gets run though the fire. This a bad mark on all styles and I feel sorry for my brothers and sisters in California trying to keep there perspective inside there own schools about now
Believe me, a lot of instructors are up in arms over this. I run the Mill Creek, WA USSD. All I will say is that right now things are... tense.