The Roles and Rights of a Martial Arts Instructor

Matt Stone

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In another thread discussing multiple instructors in one school, the issue was brought up regarding the role(s) and rights of a martial arts instructor.

Points were made dealing with an instructor's assumed "responsibility" for the actions of his/her students both in and out of class, as well as the counterpoint that the instructor's "responsibility" ended at the dojo door and that the student was solely responsible for his/her behavior (not the teacher).

Further, discussion dealt with the assumption that some martial arts instructors make regarding just what they have a right to do. Some instructors believe they are in a position to hand out advice, guidance, etc., in an effort to guide the life choices of the student. Others believe that the instructor should stick to what they know - martial arts - and not pass out advice in any context other than that of any other family member, friend, etc., i.e. as someone a little older and a little more experienced; the point being that a martial arts instructor is not inherently more qualified to guide the lives of his/her students than anyone else, though many seem to believe they are.

What are your feelings and opinions on this?

Further, should the instructor attempt to mold the student's behavior into an example of the cultural rules and traditions of the country from which the art arose? For example, should an American who is a Japanese karate teacher encourage his/her students to behave according to Japanese etiquette and traditions beyond that required within class context (like concepts of "face," "honor debts," etc.)? Also, should the teacher recommend that the student keep such ideals in mind outside of class, and having such ideal influence the behavior of the student, even when such ideals are alien to the student's native culture?

Enjoy.
 

Sin

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My school follows the RyuKyu Dojo Motto, sometimes at the beginning of class sensei will ask someone what a certian phrase in the Dojo motto means to them, I.E. To develop a respectful attitude. We define respect and who to and how to show respect. This is just one of the ways we keep our morals in line as Martial Artists
 
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lvwhitebir

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Matt Stone said:
an instructor's assumed "responsibility" for the actions of his/her students both in and out of class, as well as the counterpoint that the instructor's "responsibility" ended at the dojo door and that the student was solely responsible for his/her behavior (not the teacher).

The instructor is, IMO, legally responsible for teaching appropriate use of the skills being taught. It's the same with giving someone a gun. They should be taught proper use of the weapon. Having said that, what the person does with that knowledge is outside of the instructor's control and responsibility.

I think an instructor that simply creates a killing machine is legally responsible for his actions, but if he shows that he teaches differently his responsibility is zilch.

Matt Stone said:
Some instructors believe they are in a position to hand out advice, guidance, etc., in an effort to guide the life choices of the student.

I agree that the instructor is only a person with possibly a little more life experience with their students. They should only give advice as a friend and not as an all-knowing person. Dispensing financial, legal, or medical advice is treading very dangerous territory.

Matt Stone said:
Further, should the instructor attempt to mold the student's behavior into an example of the cultural rules and traditions of the country from which the art arose?

Not at all. He can show what other cultures are like to provide an insight into improving the student's, but should never force it upon them.

WhiteBirch
 

terryl965

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Well Sin years ago instructors where like father figures even to the older pupil in class they where looked upon as wise and mature for there knowledge of there Art and wisdom how to use said Art the right way. Over the years it became a marketing tools for the McDojo's through my Art we can help improve grades, make you wiser about life and help bring peace to your inner self. the fact is no-one can bring this to an individual except the person welcome your way of thinking. Parents need to bestill this into there childern, with that being said I try to teach the tenets of TKD to all my students and if you notice I said try, we can only do so much in the little time we have my student are required to learn them but as far as what they do outside of the hours i have them is a parent doman. Parent need to go back in be the role models for there child. If a parent ask me to help I try and I make sure the parent knows if you want me to be hard on your child you need to do the same outside the Dojaang, if your not then mine means nothing to that child.
 

Andrew Green

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No different then a coach in any other sport.

Cultural - Nope, even IF the vast majority of instructors that tried this would be laughed out of the country with some of the "traditions" they teach.

But, that is what I look for, for other people that is part of what they pay for when they sign up. I just wish the people teaching them would do a little more research first....
 

Andrew Green

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One more thing - Priests, pseudo-priests, general do-gooders, social workers, pyschiatrists, etc.

There is no shortage of people giving out advice without the experience to back it, just a different perspective (sometimes from education and traing other times not) Some of these people are good, some are not. Some are qualified, some are not.

Within the martial arts world we are lucky to have one important thing - Choice.

If someone wants a instructor who plays the mystic master and borderlines cult behaviour, well, we got those. If someone wants a good workout and practical skills we got those, if someone wants a ego-fuelled ultimate street fighter can kill in one shoot fantasy, we got those too.

Of course the last can be rather dangerous to themself and are annoying to deal with, but otherwise they'd be playing D&D and trying to build a lightsaber, so at least they're getting some excercise ;)
 

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A martial arts instructor is just that, a martial arts instructor. He is (hopefully) accredited to teach the mental and physical skills it takes to accomplish that art. Ethics regarding the use of the art may be included in this training. The instructor may have also have ancillary skills in law, psychology, or medicine that further or enhance the teaching of the art. I would not condone the use of a martial art instructorship to teach beyond that.

There are obvious exceptions, outside of martial arts my instructors have also been a: electrician; nurse; miner; hospital administrator; detention officer; and a police officer. I can and do take advice from these individuals regarding their specialties. In addition, I consider 3 of the 6 to be close friends and because of that they have the right to discuss with me regarding my life outside of the dojo/studio on a fairly personal level.

Lamont
 

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All things are relative.

I think that a Martial Arts Instructor needs to be aware of the level of influence that they may hold over their students, and should feel honour bound to appreciate and respect that position. Just as a Physics teacher ought not feel obligated to discuss personal issues with a student, neither should a Martial Art teacher. Both are qualified to do only one thing, and that is to teach others the skills of their specialization.

A person of influence using their influence to manipulate those over whom they have influence is an abuse of authority.

So the question becomes, what is manipulative behaviour? Well, taking into account that the teacher is really only qualified to share knowledge in their specific subject of specialization, it seems to me that to impose their beliefs on other topics to the students over whom they have influence is manipulative behaviour, and thus, abuse of authority.

Of course, we must make allowance for the times when the instructor's opinion on unrelated topics is specifically requested. For example, "Teacher, I really like this girl, how would you handle it?"

This is a very different circumstance than, "Student, you are getting to the age where you might find girls sexually attractive. In order to be a Martial Artist, you must abstain from having sex until you're married."

See the difference?
 
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Matt Stone

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terryl965 said:
Well Sin years ago instructors where like father figures even to the older pupil in class they where looked upon as wise and mature for there knowledge of there Art and wisdom how to use said Art the right way.

Years ago where, precisely? In the US? Nope. In Asian countries? Sure, but that was part of their culturally dictated role. In the early years of the US, many people were looked up to and respected for their position: teachers, doctors, lawyers, police officers, etc. But as our country has progressed and expanded, we have seen (and see daily) that these people are as human as everyone else and just as capable of making catastrophically poor decisions. Granted, this has eroded our ability to provide role models for children (professional athletes should be the very last on the list for role models anymore, given their inclination toward drugs and prostitutes), but does that make a martial arts instructor necessarily better enabled to fill that role?

Over the years it became a marketing tools for the McDojo's through my Art we can help improve grades, make you wiser about life and help bring peace to your inner self.

I don't mean to critique your writing skills, but are you meaning to say that the marketing bit was that a McDojo would say they could raise a child's grades, etc., or that your school/art says that? I think you meant the former...

the fact is no-one can bring this to an individual except the person welcome your way of thinking. Parents need to bestill this into there childern,

I'd be inclined to agree.

with that being said I try to teach the tenets of TKD to all my students and if you notice I said try, we can only do so much in the little time we have

What tenets do you attempt to teach them that are drastically different from those taught elsewhere (home, church, academics, athletics, etc.)? My point is, are you really teaching them something new, or attempting to reinforce what they've already been exposed to?

my student are required to learn them but as far as what they do outside of the hours i have them is a parent doman. Parent need to go back in be the role models for there child. If a parent ask me to help I try and I make sure the parent knows if you want me to be hard on your child you need to do the same outside the Dojaang, if your not then mine means nothing to that child.

This is interesting to me... The other thread had a TKD instructor holding a completely opposite opinion, stating that the TKD teacher had a responsibility for his students' behavior in and out of class, that the TKD teacher had a responsibility to develop in them modes of thinking and behavior that stemmed from Korean cultural attitudes and beliefs. Why don't you follow that line of thought as well?

Interesting discussion...
 
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Matt Stone

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Flatlander said:
All things are relative.

I think that a Martial Arts Instructor needs to be aware of the level of influence that they may hold over their students, and should feel honour bound to appreciate and respect that position. Just as a Physics teacher ought not feel obligated to discuss personal issues with a student, neither should a Martial Art teacher. Both are qualified to do only one thing, and that is to teach others the skills of their specialization.

Nicely put.

A person of influence using their influence to manipulate those over whom they have influence is an abuse of authority.

I agree entirely. I think that is far more common in American MA schools than most people suspect. I can count quite a few instructors whom I've had personal interaction with who had just such a situation in their school. I'll say that not all of them were bad, but the majority were. There was one teacher, caucasian, who told a student that a visiting guest of the teacher's was going to stay at the student's home during their stay (told, not asked). When the student told the teacher that the student would have to discuss it with their spouse first, and that it might have a negative impact on the student's normal life schedule, the teacher told the student that it was disrespectful to turn down an honor of this kind... Whatever. I call that "trying to out-Asian the Asians," and this is one of the best examples I can find!

So the question becomes, what is manipulative behaviour? Well, taking into account that the teacher is really only qualified to share knowledge in their specific subject of specialization, it seems to me that to impose their beliefs on other topics to the students over whom they have influence is manipulative behaviour, and thus, abuse of authority.

Here's a "for instance." Let's say X art, from Y country, is often taught by native Y-icans to people in Z country. The Y-ican instructors, who are very proud of their art, nation and culture, pass on many of the cultural traditions and behaviors within the context of their martial art. Should Z-ican teachers, then, attempt to do the same, causing their Z-ican students to begin exhibiting Y-ican behaviors (which are most likely misunderstood, out of context, and almost humorous in their performance)? If so, why? If not, why?

Of course, we must make allowance for the times when the instructor's opinion on unrelated topics is specifically requested. For example, "Teacher, I really like this girl, how would you handle it?"

But is this advice based on their ability as a martial artist, or as a trusted adult influence? Is it necessarily any different advice than that received from any other trusted adult in the student's life?

This is a very different circumstance than, "Student, you are getting to the age where you might find girls sexually attractive. In order to be a Martial Artist, you must abstain from having sex until you're married."

See the difference?

Certainly, but there are some, I'm sure, who don't...

Discuss...
 

terryl965

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I don't mean to critique your writing skills, but are you meaning to say that the marketing bit was that a McDojo would say they could raise a child's grades, etc., or that your school/art says that? I think you meant the former...

First off sorry for the bad writing skills I just got done with a heart stress test and was on medication, No not my school other schools out there use that as a tool to bring in childern



What tenets do you attempt to teach them that are drastically different from those taught elsewhere (home, church, academics, athletics, etc.)? My point is, are you really teaching them something new, or attempting to reinforce what they've already been exposed to?

The Tenets of TKD is Intigity,self control,courtesy,perseverance, indomitle spirit. Hopefully they have these qualities already in them some do some don't.

This is interesting to me... The other thread had a TKD instructor holding a completely opposite opinion, stating that the TKD teacher had a responsibility for his students' behavior in and out of class, that the TKD teacher had a responsibility to develop in them modes of thinking and behavior that stemmed from Korean cultural attitudes and beliefs. Why don't you follow that line of thought as well?

Well as you might have guess I been doing this a long time, in that time I have come to relize we can only do what we can do. I myself was a high school teacher for ten years, my wife god bless her is still teaching fifth grade, we know are limitations. The other gentleman you are referring to is a friend of mine a great guy, and he is a wonderful instructor, we all have are way of doing things and that's what makes this a great land of ours, we have that right to choose are fate as one might say.

I will be happy to carry on if you have anymore question for me, just be patient and I'll get back to you with my answer to your question.

Take care
Terry Lee Stoker
 

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Matt Stone said:
In another thread discussing multiple instructors in one school, the issue was brought up regarding the role(s) and rights of a martial arts instructor.

Points were made dealing with an instructor's assumed "responsibility" for the actions of his/her students both in and out of class, as well as the counterpoint that the instructor's "responsibility" ended at the dojo door and that the student was solely responsible for his/her behavior (not the teacher).

In class, yes, the instructor is responsible for what the student does. It is the instructors job to provide a safe, productive environment for the students at that school. As far as outside the school goes...a fine line can be drawn here. If the student was a child and he was using his MA skills to start fights, bully people in school, etc. then that is going to give a bad picture of that MA school. People may start to think that the inst. is training people how to be bullies. Now, if its an adult, and every Friday night he goes out with his friends to a bar or club and drinks, that is his business. The inst. should not get involved just because he may not be a drinker and not like bars/clubs.

Further, discussion dealt with the assumption that some martial arts instructors make regarding just what they have a right to do. Some instructors believe they are in a position to hand out advice, guidance, etc., in an effort to guide the life choices of the student. Others believe that the instructor should stick to what they know - martial arts - and not pass out advice in any context other than that of any other family member, friend, etc., i.e. as someone a little older and a little more experienced; the point being that a martial arts instructor is not inherently more qualified to guide the lives of his/her students than anyone else, though many seem to believe they are.

What are your feelings and opinions on this?

Advice is just that...Advice! The student is ultimately responsible for their actions. People give advice all the time, but like I said, its up to the individual to make the choice.

Further, should the instructor attempt to mold the student's behavior into an example of the cultural rules and traditions of the country from which the art arose? For example, should an American who is a Japanese karate teacher encourage his/her students to behave according to Japanese etiquette and traditions beyond that required within class context (like concepts of "face," "honor debts," etc.)? Also, should the teacher recommend that the student keep such ideals in mind outside of class, and having such ideal influence the behavior of the student, even when such ideals are alien to the student's native culture?

Enjoy.

One thing that we need to keep in mind here is that times change. What is acceptable in one country may not be in a different one. This is one of the questons the student should ask when they first enroll.

This is another fine line we have here. If it is a trad. school, then one can almost assume that some sort of trad. will be in that school. If its a more modern school, with little or no trad. then obviously things will be much different. Again, whats done in the class room, should stay in the class room. Once the student leaves for the day, then if he wants to go to the school down the street to train in Judo, then he should be able to.

Mike
 

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I am not in favor of martial arts instructors forcing their opinions, religion, politics, morals etc. on students. However, in a traditional school, as Terry hinted at, the students' entire life experience is developed. That does NOT mean I have a right to know how much money you make, your relationship with your wife and family, your religious or political preference unless you volunteer that information. But I am concerned with your well being in and out of class. Traditional Tae kwon Do states clearly that a student shall never dishonor himself, his Instructor, his school, or his art. So, to a certain extent, I am responsible for your behavior in and out of class. That does not mean I dictate where you work, what job you hold, who you marry. That is your choice. I can say "I will not recommend you for 4th Dan testing because you work at McDonalds as a burger flipper and I want more out you than that." Sounds cruel, but our grandmaster has done just that.
I also reserve the right to look at your grades, because I don't want academically poor students with great technique.
In other words, I am concerned with your well being outside class as it relates to Tae Kwon Do. If you are an Instructor, and problems with your wife are interfering with your ability to effectively teach class, I may tell you to stop teaching until you get it worked out. If I am not teaching you to be responsible with your technique, I am definitely being negligent.
Now, some or many people would not understand this. They feel that my job is strictly to teach martial arts and nothing else. Do not care about the overall welfare of the students. I disagree. That is why traditional martial arts are a Way of Life as opposed to a sport or recreation. If some people refused to accept that type of environment, so be it.

And if a student of mine were going to judo after Tae Kwon Do, I'd tell him "Pick one."
 

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MichiganTKD said:
I am not in favor of martial arts instructors forcing their opinions, religion, politics, morals etc. on students. However, in a traditional school, as Terry hinted at, the students' entire life experience is developed. That does NOT mean I have a right to know how much money you make, your relationship with your wife and family, your religious or political preference unless you volunteer that information. But I am concerned with your well being in and out of class. Traditional Tae kwon Do states clearly that a student shall never dishonor himself, his Instructor, his school, or his art. So, to a certain extent, I am responsible for your behavior in and out of class. That does not mean I dictate where you work, what job you hold, who you marry. That is your choice. I can say "I will not recommend you for 4th Dan testing because you work at McDonalds as a burger flipper and I want more out you than that." Sounds cruel, but our grandmaster has done just that.
I also reserve the right to look at your grades, because I don't want academically poor students with great technique.
In other words, I am concerned with your well being outside class as it relates to Tae Kwon Do. If you are an Instructor, and problems with your wife are interfering with your ability to effectively teach class, I may tell you to stop teaching until you get it worked out. If I am not teaching you to be responsible with your technique, I am definitely being negligent.
Now, some or many people would not understand this. They feel that my job is strictly to teach martial arts and nothing else. Do not care about the overall welfare of the students. I disagree. That is why traditional martial arts are a Way of Life as opposed to a sport or recreation. If some people refused to accept that type of environment, so be it.

And if a student of mine were going to judo after Tae Kwon Do, I'd tell him "Pick one."

Ok...the above statement IMO sounds like you're slightly contradicting yourself. You state that you won't tell me where I work, but you will tell me to decide between 2 arts?

Mike
 

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Flatlander said:
A person of influence using their influence to manipulate those over whom they have influence is an abuse of authority
I would not strictly agree with that. A person of influence cannot help but manipulate the people over whom they have influence. That is what makes them a person of influence. An abuse of their authority would, in my opinion, be to use said influence in a negative manner.
 
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Matt Stone

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MichiganTKD said:
I am not in favor of martial arts instructors forcing their opinions, religion, politics, morals etc. on students.

But you advocate imparting the cultural attitudes, behaviors and traditions for a student not only to be aware or or familiar with, but to embody and employ in their daily life.

However, in a traditional school, as Terry hinted at, the students' entire life experience is developed.

Their "life experience" is developed? How, precisely? By punching and kicking? By learning to take a fall? Or by having the teacher impose and enforce methods of thinking and acting outside the scope of the martial discipline?

That does NOT mean I have a right to know how much money you make, your relationship with your wife and family, your religious or political preference unless you volunteer that information.

That was never stated nor implied.

But I am concerned with your well being in and out of class.

Admirable and definitely a display of dedication to your students, but still outside the scope of any action on the part of a martial arts instructor. Being concerned and acting on that concern are two different things.

Traditional Tae kwon Do states clearly that a student shall never dishonor himself, his Instructor, his school, or his art.

And what does "dishonor" mean? Merriam-Webster Online says that "dishonor" is defined as:

1 a : to treat in a degrading manner b : to bring shame on

"Shame" is:

1 a : a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety b : the susceptibility to such emotion
2 : a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute

So, to a certain extent, I am responsible for your behavior in and out of class.

Responsible how? To whom? Do you answer to the student's family members in the event that the student "dishonors" you, your school or the art? What constitutes "dishonor" anyway? Bad grades? Bullying other kids? Drinking under age? Reckless driving? Getting a girl pregnant? Failing to register for the draft? Bouncing a check? When does the action of a student become "dishonorable," and therefore something that the teacher, school, and art need to be concerned with?

That does not mean I dictate where you work, what job you hold, who you marry. That is your choice.

Just as choosing to bounce a check, smoke a joint, drink a beer underage, etc., is the student's choice, completely independent of the instructor's influence. Further, so too is the choice to employ their martial skills, a la Cobra Kai, to intimidate and bully others. It is beyond the instructor's reach, and therefore beyond the instructor's responsibility.

I can say "I will not recommend you for 4th Dan testing because you work at McDonalds as a burger flipper and I want more out you than that." Sounds cruel, but our grandmaster has done just that.

Had it been me that wasn't being recommended, you could bet that I'd have the "grandmaster" (a term I can't stand; regular "master" isn't high enough?) in court... Further, I'd be quite happy, at that point, to leave such an oppressive and controlling organization. He has the right not to test me, sure. He doesn't have the right to dictate things in my personal life, nor to hold such things over my head... I'd suggest your organization examine the legality of such non-recommendation, have your attorneys review it, and hope there is some kind of allowance for the arbitrary denial of advancement in a sporting organization due to abstract and poorly defined reasons...

I also reserve the right to look at your grades, because I don't want academically poor students with great technique.

If it were my child in your class, I suppose it'd really depend on what I thought of you in person. I can't tell what you are like via the internet. My son was in a TKD class, and even had he not been disillusioned with the instruction (the teacher told him not to rotate his hips when punching, because if he did so his head would turn 90 degrees away from the opponent and he wouldn't be able to see the bad guy... even my 8 year old son knew better...), I wouldn't allow the teacher to make the decision on whether my son had access to services I was paying money for... It is my place as a parent to make the decision on whether my child participates in what amount to extracurricular activities, not the instructor/coach. At least not when I'm paying for my child to be there. If my child were on a team, then the coach doesn't have to put my child into the game, but he'll darn sure go to practice, learn, participate, and then sit the bench as punishment...

In other words, I am concerned with your well being outside class as it relates to Tae Kwon Do.

Fine. Be concerned, but know your boundaries...

If you are an Instructor, and problems with your wife are interfering with your ability to effectively teach class, I may tell you to stop teaching until you get it worked out.

That'd be a business decision, not necessarily concern for my well-being... If you are paying me to teach, then you are my employer, and you are acting to look out for the well-being of the class and the business. If you aren't paying me, then you are still looking out for the class and the business, but it is a lot more personal.


If I am not teaching you to be responsible with your technique, I am definitely being negligent.

But if you are teaching the student to "use karate defense only," and the student is irresponsible and somehow injures someone else, it still isn't your responsibility. It is a case of Colt, or Smith and Wesson, being responsible for some kid shooting another kid... That's a BS premise, and so is the martial arts instructor being responsible for the actions of his/her students.

Now, some or many people would not understand this. They feel that my job is strictly to teach martial arts and nothing else. Do not care about the overall welfare of the students. I disagree.

No one said don't care about their general welfare. What was said was that a martial arts instructor has boundaries, beyond which he/she doesn't necessarily have any right to venture. It simply isn't their job to do so. Having a concern, and acting on the concern are two completely separate issues...

That is why traditional martial arts are a Way of Life as opposed to a sport or recreation. If some people refused to accept that type of environment, so be it.

So at what point do martial arts cease being combative sports and step closer to churches and religious organizations? By saying MA are a "way of life" begins shuffling them dangerously close to such a condition...

And if a student of mine were going to judo after Tae Kwon Do, I'd tell him "Pick one."

Why can't he train in both? What specific reason could there be to dictate the personal, private actions of your student, especially since you've said above that you can't tell a student what to do with their life? Judo, tapdancing, flying a kite in the rain... All personal choices for activities outside your school, none of which bring "dishonor" to you, your schoool, nor your art... Therefore, none of your business...

Enjoy.
 
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Good Thread and realy good Advice.

Have some real expeaces I would bring up but first my thoughts.

As a 12 year martial arts instructor, General motors supevisor, with a commuication degree. I have had students and employee ask some tuff questions. some personal, some about life, some just wont someone to bounce there thoughts off of. I think these days that peson you goto to talk about your problems is hard to find. Many parent bring there kids to Martial arts schools just to have time for themselfs, some because the kid is out of control and some because the kid wonts to go and the adults take it for heath improvement as a way of meeting people. As a martial arts instuctor or a supervisor I think you have to lison and help when you can. I have refered people to Phycs, doctors, lawyers, ect... I only recomend them to go and only in a few cases have I helped them find someone. but I don't and I would never force my veiw on someone. I only return the take after the opproch me. I never go looking to impove someone.

Let me throw some examples at everyone. that I had trouble dealing with.

1. I had a student (17) that was a brown belt. I was veary close to throwing him out of my school. not because his skill ( He was one of my best fighters) but because of his problem with dealing with control and anger. He ask me seval times to talk with the police department ( I have good standing with many of the areas forces.) because he wonted to become a Police officer. I recommed him to a Explorer program that taught kids how to be police offecrs. they have compititions and everything. He went to one class because the instructor was really hard on them. I done everything I could think of to try to change how he delt with control and anger. I did pushups, made him fight upper black belts (to get whipped). Nothing changed him. the only thing left would be to beat the hell out of him. and After he made a pass at my (14 year old ) daughter friend I explaned that the next time he would be getting hisself up off the floor. ( Ya that's right he hit on the martial arts instructors daughter and friend infront of the instructor. now that's balls) to make this long story short. He is now serving time in jail for Molesting his 10 year old neace which is also one of my students.

2. I had a student that was 19 years old and had mental disablitys. (he was a druge baby) and his stepmother past away. he called me at 1:30am and just wonted to talk. he had no other family and wonted to know if he could join my classes. After talking to him for about an hour we set up a time for him to come in. After about 7 months one of the City Council members stopped me and ask if I was teaching student (X) I said yes and he went on to tell me about his life and how his mother was on the Council and was well respected. He told me that everyone was worred about what he would do. ( he is not able to work with his disablity) He told me that the martial arts has been the best thing that every happed to (X). I will let you ponder on this then I will tell you the rest of the story.
 

lonecoyote

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The best leaders, the people you learn the most from, lead by example. I've learned a lot from my instructor, who is actually about 10 years younger than I am. He treats people with respect, decency and compassion, and he can do that because he has self respect. Doesn't have to tell anyone to have humility, because he has it himself, just watch him a while,and you will want to begin to emulate him. An instructor can be a man you want to model yourself after, at least in regards to certain qualities, and in so doing make yourself a better person. Imposing draconian rules is the wrong way to go about making a difference in peoples lives. Just show them how you're supposed to act by doing it yourself. If you want your students to have self control, restraint, and act respectfully of others then start with the guy in the mirror, and maybe they'll follow. Too many kids don't know American and western manners, its kind of pointless to confuse them with esoteric asian etiquette before they know how to act toward each other in this country. Teach em to shake hands, look each other in the eye, call each other by name first and that will get them a lot farther than too much traditional stuff.
 

lonecoyote

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Wow, sifu Adams, incredible experiences. Thank you. What happened to (X)?
 
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sifu Adams

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After about 2 years of training I started him on internal breathing, meditation, tai chi. Chi Kong. and well he snapped on me during class, infront of all my student and parents. let me explain. he went running out of my gym into the middle of main street yelling at the top of his lungs that we worshiped the devil and cussing at the top of his lungs. Not good for buisness. So I had to kick him out of my classes or loose over half my student base. He is learning from another school now and I worked with the instructor of that school to explaine what happen and he's not teaching the internals to him just the hard styles and he has been doing great.

Lesson learned never teach a student with Mental disablity's a mental art.
 
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