"Well, the people that started it didn't have teachers!"

Steve

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It's not that I'm not competent. In my personal opinion...if I haven't been promoted to the rank yet, then I shouldn't teach it. Give him a preview? Maybe, so he could see how wing chun is different from what he might know (he used to study some other style...I forget what it was now), but if he wants to learn anything in depth, then he should be there in class with me.
Sorry. Incompetent may have been too strong of a word. I simply meant that, for whatever reason, you can't teach the style of "Wing Chun." Not having the appropriate rank to teach would, in my mind, disqualify you from being competent to teach "Wing Chun." This, even if you are capable of teaching some aspects of the style.
Anyhow, the point of this thread wasn't really to ask what I should do. I had already made up my mind: he does NOT have me as a teacher. I was just wondering what people on this board would think if they were approached in this way.
I tried to give my answer. It seems as though I've struck a nerve. I apologize if that's the case. If it helps, just substitute BJJ for Wing Chun. My answer would still be the same.

The point I was really making is that, even as an 8 year purple belt, I know how much I have to learn, and wouldn't want the pressure of teaching "Legit BJJ" to anyone.

AND, the rest of my post is how I'd approach the dilemma you posed in the first post of the thread. It would depend. Nothing happens in a vacuum.
 
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wingchun100

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Sorry. Incompetent may have been too strong of a word. I simply meant that, for whatever reason, you can't teach the style of "Wing Chun." Not having the appropriate rank to teach would, in my mind, disqualify you from being competent to teach "Wing Chun." This, even if you are capable of teaching some aspects of the style. I tried to give my answer. It seems as though I've struck a nerve. I apologize if that's the case. If it helps, just substitute BJJ for Wing Chun. My answer would still be the same.

The point I was really making is that, even as an 8 year purple belt, I know how much I have to learn, and wouldn't want the pressure of teaching "Legit BJJ" to anyone.

AND, the rest of my post is how I'd approach the dilemma you posed in the first post of the thread. It would depend. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

No, no nerve struck...I was just making it clear that this isn't a case of a newbie asking to be taught by a newbie.
 

geezer

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It's not that I'm not competent. In my personal opinion...if I haven't been promoted to the rank yet, then I shouldn't teach it. Give him a preview? Maybe, so he could see how wing chun is different from what he might know (he used to study some other style...I forget what it was now), but if he wants to learn anything in depth, then he should be there in class with me.

I've been teaching WC on and off (non-commercially) for a long time and earned my "Sifu" ranking back in the mid eighties. IMO your position as stated above makes good sense.

I tell my students that they are welcome and encouraged to share their interest in WC in so as far as giving what you call a "preview", then invite their friend to visit a class. Beyond that they should not be teaching on their own, and certainly not for money. It took me a long time to earn my rank, including training in curriculum and instructional techniques. In addition, even though I consider myself "non-commercial", I have to pay a monthly fee to my national association to keep my teaching license and do continuing training out of state several times every year. If my students don't support that by coming to class, I can no longer afford to teach. As it is I barely break even every year.

As far as students training together outside of class. That's terrific and I heartily encourage it. The only caveat is that they should focus on perfecting material that they have both already been taught in class. If one is more senior, he should not be introducing brand new material to his junior. That's a good way to spread bad habits.
 
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wingchun100

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I've been teaching WC on and off (non-commercially) for a long time and earned my "Sifu" ranking back in the mid eighties. IMO your position as stated above makes good sense.

I tell my students that they are welcome and encouraged to share their interest in WC in so as far as giving what you call a "preview", then invite their friend to visit a class. Beyond that they should not be teaching on their own, and certainly not for money. It took me a long time to earn my rank, including training in curriculum and instructional techniques. In addition, even though I consider myself "non-commercial", I have to pay a monthly fee to my national association to keep my teaching license and do continuing training out of state several times every year. If my students don't support that by coming to class, I can no longer afford to teach. As it is I barely break even every year.

As far as students training together outside of class. That's terrific and I heartily encourage it. The only caveat is that they should focus on perfecting material that they have both already been taught in class. If one is more senior, he should not be introducing brand new material to his junior. That's a good way to spread bad habits.

Right! Something like an intro lesson for him, but then if he wants to go further, he can go to class. And I certainly would never teach anyone anything they didn't know. In fact, he has a "rules of conduct" list posted in the school. It says that if someone asks you to help them with something, you should find out if Sifu showed it to them at all. This can be tricky because you don't know if people are lying to you...although at this point in time it is easier to spot. We have a lot of new students so if someone asked me to help them with the opening section of biu jee (just as an example), then I'd know they hadn't been shown it yet.
 

geezer

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Regarding the free lesson thing... that's really case by case. Is it an insult to you that he wants free lessons? It really depends.

How good of friends are you with this guy? Is he a buddy? Is it going to be a formal thing scheduled multiple times per week? is there ANY benefit to you or is it just a one way thing? Does the guy add value to your relationship in other ways? As a friend, you might "give" in the area of martial arts, but he's the guy who helps you build a deck or takes you to the beer festivals or invites you over for movie marathons on his 120" HD Projector. In other words, is he a friend or just some guy? If he's a friend, I'd never charge for lessons. I'd consider it just one more thing to share with a buddy.

Yeah. I discourage my students from formally teaching friends. If they know enough to teach, they could teach in class. On the other hand, this is America and what you learn becomes yours. It they choose to share it casually with a friend that's really not my business. I would recommend that they try to get the friend to attend class, but if the friend isn't really interested, it's no loss to me.

On the other hand, an unqualified student shouldn't be presenting themselves as an instructor and teaching people for a fee. That's fraudulent, degrades the art, and competes financially with the school. Why would anyone want to do that to their Sifu and kung fu family?
 
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wingchun100

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IMHO, I don't think that one has to know the entire system before they teach it to others, however, they should have enough time in to put themselves at least past the beginner ranks. They should have a solid understanding of the basics, the forms, etc, and be able to explain, apply, perform, etc, all of this material.

Would this be disrespectful to your teacher? Well, I don't know. I'd say it would all depend on your teacher and if they frown upon that or not. Some teachers encourage and even expect the upper belts to take a lower rank 'under their wing' so to speak, as part of preparing them for their black belt. Now, this isn't to mean that the upper rank has to teach this lower rank privately or give them constant 1 on 1 attention, but simply to give them (the upper belt) experience in teaching. Of course, any time you teach someone something, it makes you get a deeper understanding of the material.

I've had people ask me about my training and some have asked if I'd teach them. Personally, I have no issues with this, and I really don't care about the money. However, on the other hand, I don't want to waste my time either. In other words, if someone isn't going to be serious and dedicate themselves to the training, then I'm not going to waste my time. There have also been times when I've suggested that they'd probably be better off just joining a school, and I'd be happy to guide them in the right direction. I only say this, because my schedule isn't set in stone, so even if the potential student was dedicated, I'd be afraid I wouldn't be able to give them the attention they need.

As for the comment about the founders not having teachers...well, in most cases, their 'teacher' was the school of hard knocks. In other words....let's use Kajukenbo for example. The founders got together, trained with each other, mixed their styles, and then tested it on the street. Of course, what you could get away with that many years ago, would most likely find you in jail, were to you go out and pick a fight just to see if something worked or not.

In the end, I think you made the right choice. If you haven't already, you might suggest he join your school and train under your teacher.

That was my point to him. The people who "founded" the style had to craft it by getting in fights!

I guess one thing I should have made clear about myself (since not everyone will go and read a profile) is that I HAVE been studying for a while...since 1995 actually, although to be honest (and humble) most of those years were on and off. I WOULD be good enough to teach him basics, but I feel that it would be a slap in my Sifu's face to tell anyone, "hey yeah...I haven't paid my dues and earned the rank of Sifu, but I will teach you anyway!"
 

donald1

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that is something to think about, if you taught him you don't have to teach forms, you could but techniques could also help
(something that i realize when i help guide other students in class, your not just helping them but your also getting a chance to increase your skill as well)
if you choose to do it there is plenty benefits (if i did i would keep it to techniques maybe with a couple small tips and if he improved or enjoys it id make a reference to the martial arts school that go to)

but if you choose not to there are plenty reasonable answers why not to

whatever choice is best for you, hopefully that will be the one you choose.
best of luck
 

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Of course training with people who are better than you is a no brainer, it's always the first choice. Ripping someone off by teaching them is a matter of opinion.

If as an under belt or a beginner you proclaim you know the system and then teach others as if you know something then your ripping others off. On the other hand, having workout partners and teaching others in that context can be a mutually beneficial situation. But if you have the attitude that you have nothing to gain from that type of arrangement then you are possibly ripping yourself off.




I'm not suggesting that a person should give up regular class/training time with their master to instead teach a workout partner or a newbie, in fact I don't think anyone is, that would be foolish. However working with someone off hours is still training. If you are teaching someone and you are showing them foot work drills or working on their punches are you not gaining experience verbalizing them, analyzing the techniques, going through the motions along side of them. If you are holding pads for someone you're learning to be a better pad holder, you can also be seeing another person's tells/body language and such.

Sometimes working with beginners they do things which training in the dojo/school drills out of us. You're practicing submissions and they stick their fingers in your eye, or they rip your finger off so you can't complete the intended hold, "But you can't do that" "Why you were going to choke me out, or lock (break) my arm? I don't understand, I stopped you" "But but that's not allowed!" Sparring once at my instructors dojo a high ranking aikido, or jujitsu BB wrapped my leg for a take down and I hoped forward and countered it by punching him square in the face."Damn there went 15 years of training." he said. Not that aikido or jujitsu wasn't worth taking lessons for 15 years, he was making a joke that I defeated/countered his take down with a very simple punch, something he didn't expect.

Working with a newbie often times things go different, like they have a gimpy wrist, well all of the sudden many disarms in arnis don't work. Well why, you have to figure it out and analyze why this works with my buddies but it doesn't work with this guy. You figure it out he gets better and you do to in the process you've learned something.


Yeah but different to the OP model. I do extra training with students and train with newbies. But if it is a case of the coach is right there ask him then I won't.

I would not set up some sort of backyard class for my friends.

This guy for some reason wants his mate to teach him rather than going to class.
 
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wingchun100

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I decided months ago to not teach him. I was just running it by you folks on the site to see what you thought. The reason I chose not to is two-fold: (1) I am not a Sifu, so to teach him as if I already earned the title would be disrespectful to those who have it. (2) If I have to learn by going to class and paying a tuition, why shouldn't he? And I don't mean he should pay ME...I mean he should have to pay Sifu just like the rest of us.

If he were a student of Sifu's, I'd have no problem training with him outside of class. But to ask me to teach him as if I were the Sifu...no, that is a line I am not willing to cross.
 

Mark Lynn

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Yeah but different to the OP model. I do extra training with students and train with newbies. But if it is a case of the coach is right there ask him then I won't.

I don't quite understand this comment, maybe I'm reading it wrong. But I think you are saying that as a general rule you would prefer to do extra training (as in at the school or outside of the school) with just students at the school and if the instructor is there then go to him. Correct?

I would not set up some sort of backyard class for my friends.

And that is totally your right.

This guy for some reason wants his mate to teach him rather than going to class.

Which the OP has stated he didn't want to do for his reasons. Which is his right.

From the original post, I thought he was asking if others think that teaching someone on the side is wrong, what would we do if (I were) approached by someone asking me to teach them on the side when I was taking classes somewhere else, or was not "ranked" "certified" or what ever in that style to officially "teach".

I take the position that I don't have a problem with that provided that.
1) I'm not breaking a rule set down by the instructor of the school that I'm going to.
2) I'm up front about my abilities and I'm not misrepresenting them (saying I'm a "qualified/certified teacher") when I'm not.
3) I'm not handing out rank etc. etc.

I think it can be beneficial to both parties, it can also be very frustrating to both parties.

I don't consider it
1) Disrespectful to my seniors (unless I'm breaking rule #1 above). Because my seniors, even my GM in the art encouraged me, all of us really to teach someone, outside of the art in order for us to grow. My instructor in TKD/karate encouraged me to cross train with others etc. etc. so it was the pattern that was given to me.

2)I fully recognize that had I been instructed not to until a certain "qualification" then I probably wouldn't hold this view. Therefore what others do by not training or teaching others is just as valid view point.

However I also believe that if I'm actively going to a school etc. etc. then the BEST place would be for the other person to be in class with me.
 
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wingchun100

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I don't quite understand this comment, maybe I'm reading it wrong. But I think you are saying that as a general rule you would prefer to do extra training (as in at the school or outside of the school) with just students at the school and if the instructor is there then go to him. Correct?



And that is totally your right.



Which the OP has stated he didn't want to do for his reasons. Which is his right.

From the original post, I thought he was asking if others think that teaching someone on the side is wrong, what would we do if (I were) approached by someone asking me to teach them on the side when I was taking classes somewhere else, or was not "ranked" "certified" or what ever in that style to officially "teach".

I take the position that I don't have a problem with that provided that.
1) I'm not breaking a rule set down by the instructor of the school that I'm going to.
2) I'm up front about my abilities and I'm not misrepresenting them (saying I'm a "qualified/certified teacher") when I'm not.
3) I'm not handing out rank etc. etc.

I think it can be beneficial to both parties, it can also be very frustrating to both parties.

I don't consider it
1) Disrespectful to my seniors (unless I'm breaking rule #1 above). Because my seniors, even my GM in the art encouraged me, all of us really to teach someone, outside of the art in order for us to grow. My instructor in TKD/karate encouraged me to cross train with others etc. etc. so it was the pattern that was given to me.

2)I fully recognize that had I been instructed not to until a certain "qualification" then I probably wouldn't hold this view. Therefore what others do by not training or teaching others is just as valid view point.

However I also believe that if I'm actively going to a school etc. etc. then the BEST place would be for the other person to be in class with me.

Your last statement is what I believe as well. Maybe you don't have to know ALL of wing chun to be a good teacher (example: Bruce Lee trained quite a few good martial artists), but I think at this point my teacher is WAY more competent than me. By taking on this guy and training him, it would be like I am saying it's better to train with me than with Sifu. At this point in time, nothing could be further from the truth.
 
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wingchun100

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Like I admitted in one of my later comments, I made the mistake of not phrasing myself properly. I had already made my choice, but I was wondering how everyone else would react...not to mention how you would counter the statement he made about how the "founders" of each martial arts styles didn't have teachers. I didn't know what to say until after this thread was responded to. Maybe the first person who "started" shotokan karate or wing chun didn't have a sensei or sifu but, in a way, they DID have teachers: their adversaries! After defeat they could look back and say, "Well this and that didn't work," and then refine their art.
 

MJS

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That was my point to him. The people who "founded" the style had to craft it by getting in fights!

I guess one thing I should have made clear about myself (since not everyone will go and read a profile) is that I HAVE been studying for a while...since 1995 actually, although to be honest (and humble) most of those years were on and off. I WOULD be good enough to teach him basics, but I feel that it would be a slap in my Sifu's face to tell anyone, "hey yeah...I haven't paid my dues and earned the rank of Sifu, but I will teach you anyway!"

You're right, it most likely would be a slap in his face. Looks like you made the right decision. :) Out of curiosity, has he asked about you training him, since your last conversation?
 
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wingchun100

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You're right, it most likely would be a slap in his face. Looks like you made the right decision. :) Out of curiosity, has he asked about you training him, since your last conversation?

No, but then again that is because of a matter of proximity. He and I used to work in the same department. In fact, he was just over the cubicle wall from me. Since then we have been transferred; we do the same job still, but he is on a different team. Every now and then I run into him on lunch break, but I am usually hustling to get one thing or another done. Not much time to talk about wing chun or anything else. :)
 

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What I have learned from my sifu "geezer" on this forum I have only taught the concepts and ideas of. I never made it far enough to where I would feel comfortable even informally teaching the system. If it is a casual exchange of ideas it can still be both fun and useful.
 

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Everyone is modifying stuff they've learned and stuff they've seen. There's a reason you can usually tell when someone is doing a traditional Chinese art vs. an art from another country--they're similar because they evolved from (and with) one another. Karate styles differ, but not like how they differ from boxing. Of course they had teachers! But they codified what became known by the name "Wing Chun".
 

Kung Fu Wang

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my instructor didn't start teaching until HE was given permission.
To share information with others is different from teaching. Old saying said, "It's better to visit your friend than to find your teacher." Your friend will share with you everything that you want to know. A teacher may expect you to pay him a lot of money before he starts to teach you anything useful.

A

- junior high student is qualified to teach a grade school student.
- senior high student is qualified to teach a junior high student.
- college student is qualified to teach a senior high student.

You don't need a PhD degree to start teaching.
 
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wingchun100

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To share information with others is different from teaching. Old saying said, "It's better to visit your friend than to find your teacher." Your friend will share with you everything that you want to know. A teacher may expect you to pay him a lot of money before he starts to teach you anything useful.

A

- junior high student is qualified to teach a grade school student.
- senior high student is qualified to teach a junior high student.
- college student is qualified to teach a senior high student.

You don't need a PhD degree to start teaching.

He didn't ask me to share info, he asked me to teach him. And again, this thread was started with a question of "what would YOU do." In other words, your take on it. I already had my view: I'm not willing to teach him, especially when it seems like the main reason he'd rather learn from me would be to skirt the price issue. Honestly, that is another point of disagreement I had with him that I forgot literally until I JUST wrote that sentence. I'm not going to teach a "buddy" for free just because they think a school charges "too much."

In my opinion, if someone wants to learn a certain style and they think the only school teaching that style in the area is too overpriced...well, then I guess it sucks to be them. They shouldn't be trolling around looking to get one of that school's students to teach them for a reduced price or for free. Suck it up and pay like the rest of us. And not for nothing, but I don't think Sifu's prices are unfair.
 

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It never hurts to ask your sifu / sensei / sahbum what he thinks of the situation.

If he thinks that you can help break in co-worker so that your co-worker is better prepared to take that first day lesson, then he'll say so. If not, you can always simply tell your co-worker to come on in for a lesson, because you don't want to teach him the wrong material, flawed mechanics, etc. Explain to him that trying to undo less than optimal teachings is more difficult than giving good instruction in the first place.
 
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