What warrants banishment/Red flags instructors look for

JowGaWolf

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Believe or not, when I was 14, the first day I joined in my high school long fist informal class, I asked my long fist teacher, "What will you do if I punch at your face?" My long fist teacher said, "Come, and punch me." If a 14-year-old boy could challenge his MA teacher in his first MA class, I assume everything can be possible.
lol may you don't word things in a easy to absorb manner lol. I've done similar things like ask what they would do "if someone punched at their face" vs. what would they do if "I punched them in the face."

Same question just asked differently. Probably got the same result too. lol. I asked my first Jow Ga teacher how something worked, He told me to try to take him down. I tried to take him down and he showed me how it worked lol. I still remember the feeling of having my arms jacked behind my back, feeling like both shoulders were going to be ripped out of my sockets. To this day. I still ask similar questions about "what if .... and how do. ....." I learn better when I feel the application so for me is less about challenging and more about wanting to experience as much as I can as first have. Me being able to feel a technique applied to me gives me an accurate understanding what my opponent should feel when I do it to him.

It is also the quickest way to know if something is going to work or just completely fail in reality.

I told a Jow Ga Sifu that I want to spar with them and I said it in public. That caused so much drama. I was told off and I spoke to the Sifu to make sure that he didn't have any confusion about what I was asking.. After I explained it to him, he said that he didn't take my comment in the wrong way. Now he shows videos of him sparring with his students. I think it's great because you see smiles on their face and hear some laughter. It's the same when I spar with others. I sometimes laugh. I'm serious but I'm also enjoying it.

I think teachers should have similar relationships with students. If the teacher takes time to teach, then the student should be respectful enough to not make the teacher "The One To Beat."

It doesn't matter if I can beat up Mike Tyson, yet I still can't place high in competitive boxing. "I beat Mike Tyson, but I rank so low in today's boxing that I can't get beyond amateur fights." doesn't say good things about my boxing skills. If a person ever wanted the opposite of looking like they have no skills, then this would be the fastest way to do it.
 

JowGaWolf

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When you and your students competed in the same tournaments (usually the tournament sponsor tried not to let you to fight against your own student), it can be difficult for your students to still think that you are their teacher.
For me I wouldn't compete in the same tournament as my students. Remember I'm a striker so for me to disregard my student's safety in that way is not good of the teacher-student relationship. But that's just me.

I'll put it this way. It's easier for me to go all out or hurt someone if I don't have a relationship with them. At that point the person is just an object that I'm going to punch and kick until it stops working. This is not how I want to think about people who I have good relationships with.

Even though I haven't met any of the people on this forum. I think I would have a tough time of just smashing anyone here in the face. The only way I could do something like that, is if I felt insulted by someone telling me that Jow Ga doesn't work, then I would want to show the reality of Jow Ga unrestrained. But back to my students, I wouldn't want my students to go easy on me in competition just because I was their teacher. So the best would be to just not compete in the same tournaments.
 

JowGaWolf

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I'd also kick out a student who was guilty of violent or sexual assault outside of the gym. I don't want to be teaching bullies, muggers, or rapists.
Forget about teaching. It's no longer a teaching issue at that point. As teachers, instructors, and coaches we are responsible for the safety and well-being of students and guests of the school and gym. At the minimum I think I don't want to be sued, blamed, or feel guilty about removing a danger and as a result someone's life was forever changed because I didn't step up.

Considering that most people don't volunteer their criminal record. This scenario would be rare, unless someone required background checks a requirement for active membership. Other than that, once it's known, then action should be taken in a respectful way that minimizes fallout. This is especially important during these times when someone coming back to shoot up your school is a real possibility.
 

Hot Lunch

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Forget about teaching. It's no longer a teaching issue at that point. As teachers, instructors, and coaches we are responsible for the safety and well-being of students and guests of the school and gym. At the minimum I think I don't want to be sued, blamed, or feel guilty about removing a danger and as a result someone's life was forever changed because I didn't step up.

Considering that most people don't volunteer their criminal record. This scenario would be rare, unless someone required background checks a requirement for active membership. Other than that, once it's known, then action should be taken in a respectful way that minimizes fallout. This is especially important during these times when someone coming back to shoot up your school is a real possibility.
Have you had experience with these types signing up? The dojo where I train is right outside of the hood (the closest dojo to that particular hood, in fact) in a city that's known more for crime than anything else. Yet, you won't find those types training there.
 

drop bear

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If I'm still sparring when I get to be 80 (as I hope to be), I expect that I will limit that sparring to partners who have sufficient experience and control that I can trust them to watch out for my safety. I won't have any problem explaining that to anyone who asks.

I have that going on now. I am not going to be able to handle the very good amateur fighters we churn out.

But they need sparring partners. So it cuts both ways.
But we have a culture of fighters doing classes with everyone else. So it is not that big a leap.
 

drop bear

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Forget about teaching. It's no longer a teaching issue at that point. As teachers, instructors, and coaches we are responsible for the safety and well-being of students and guests of the school and gym. At the minimum I think I don't want to be sued, blamed, or feel guilty about removing a danger and as a result someone's life was forever changed because I didn't step up.

Considering that most people don't volunteer their criminal record. This scenario would be rare, unless someone required background checks a requirement for active membership. Other than that, once it's known, then action should be taken in a respectful way that minimizes fallout. This is especially important during these times when someone coming back to shoot up your school is a real possibility.

A criminal record is different to ongoing criminal activity.

We had one of our sort of black belts who beat up his girlfriend. And we don't associate with him now.


So there were two schools going for a while.

It was interesting because he was the only black belt in our town. So people had to make a moral choice. Ignore it and grade. Or disassociate with him and train with a purple belt and not grade.

And people went both ways.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Considering that most people don't volunteer their criminal record.
Next door of my Kung Fu school was a topless dancing club, the same place that TKD master Jhoon Rhee had his first TKD school in US. Few blocks away was the Austin city mental hospital. I had a lot of strange people walked into my school.

One day a group of Black Panther members came in and wanted to sign up a private group lesson. Next day, an FBI agent visited my school and told me that I could have a private group lesson with them, but I have to provide all the group members information to the FBI. I mentioned that to the Black Panther group, they didn't want FBI to have their information. That private group lesson didn't start.

 

JowGaWolf

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Have you had experience with these types signing up?
Not with Martial Arts. Normally in that environment the adults keep such things to themselves and do not share them. Most of the criminals that I've known and met also weren't violent. Most were arrested for drugs or theft. I try not to hang around violent people since drama tends to follow them. Violent people tend not to make good followers or students, because they often want to be the ones in charge. Because of that Martial Arts school are often avoided by people like that. They often don't want to learn. They just want to dominate and often use anger to reach that goal. This ultimately makes submitting leadership to a teacher or upper classmate a non-starter. I'll put it this way. None of those people took part in the youth development activities and services. But one spent 2 months trying to intimidate me and make me afraid of him. He went to the point of trying to get a gang of people to jump me at night after work. But no one joined him.

I have had to deal with violent people and convicted criminals when I worked in youth development. It was such a norm that the kids were truly shocked that I've never been to jail or prison. For months they thought I was lying. To them, being a criminal was almost a rite of passage.

Yet, you won't find those types training there.
I think you don't find those types there because of the teachers. If you have a martial arts school in the hood then I know from the start that the teacher isn't a pushover and may possibly have the ability to "be hood" if required. It sems more likely that those elements were there, but the teachers kept them out of the martial arts school, the same way I kept them out of the youth development center. If I had personally own the youth development center, then it wouldn't have taken me 2 months to get rid of that one guy. My authority as a city employee meant that my other means of dealing with the issue were not acceptable and would be grounds for getting fired. During that time my wife was pregnant, so I stuck it out.

A martial arts school is also like a small gang. If someone walked into the school and started attacking me, many of the older students would drool at the opportunity to use their skills without limits. If one or 2 students attack, then the rest will jump in. It would be like me going to an MMA gym and attacking someone there. They may be violent but they aren't that stupid. They know how gangs work lol
 

Kung Fu Wang

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A martial arts school is also like a small gang.
One day during my high school long fist summertime training (we trained 6 days a week, 6 hours each day), a group of local gang members started to look for trouble. The moment my Kung Fu brothers all pick up swords, knifes, Guan Daos, spears, staffs, ... they all run away. When a country (such as Taiwan) doesn't allow firearm, the cold weapon can be very powerful.

John_high_school.jpg


 
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JowGaWolf

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We had one of our sort of black belts who beat up his girlfriend. And we don't associate with him now.
Everyone must choose how to manage their own image and reputation. Organizations and gyms have to think of their members. I personally don't associate myself with abusers (that I know of). My moral values will often dictate my tolerance and willingness to over look things. Somethings I look at as an addiction or as part of that person's DNA. Other things I look at as a mistake. People can learn from mistakes, but addictions are like demons that follow you like a shadow waiting for that moment of weakness when you allow it just enough room to squeeze in.

"We are like the company we keep." "Birds of a feather flock together." This is always something worth thinking about when associating with others.
 

Ivan

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As a student I am picky. Because I can be.

I don't want to put up with feeling like crap for good instruction. And with the amount of good instruction out there I don't have to.
I recently had to change BJJ academies due to some issues with my old one. Here were some of the issues I noticed, after I found this wasn't the norm:
  1. A very large majority of students were white belts - the ratio was downright disproportionate, with 1 purple and 2 blue belts per class, and over 20 white belts for an academy that has been established for a decade.
  2. Instructor promoted based on attendance rather than skill, and took the attendance with actual attendance cards
  3. The instructor only allowed us to train in official Gracie Barra Gis, and although he charged less for them than the actual website, the fees were extortionate. 瞿120 for a gi with bad sizing and lackluster material??
  4. The instructor would sometimes avoid answering questions about a technique you were working on and said you should book a private class with him instead
  5. Changed the timetable almost every 2 months, sometimes removing classes and open mats to leave "private booking" slots so that he could have more people pay for private classes
  6. Discouraging students from cross-training at other gyms
  7. Kicking me out of the gym group chat whilst I was abroad, even though I was competing under his gym/name and posting my results in the chat, and said he would add me back when I started paying gym fees again
Just as I had decided to move, I got a message from one of the other students, and apparently, one of the instructors who sometimes took the morning class had been accused by multiple women of harassment on and off the mats. Nope'd the love out of there immediately, and never looked back. My new gym since September has an awesome, competitive culture with some green flags:
  1. The head instructor has no issues keeping you at white belt for five years, and even losing you as a student, if he feels you are not ready for a promotion
  2. The head instructor leaves himself available during open mats to roll with, or help you with any techniques you're struggling with
  3. The head instructor does not offer any private sessions as he "doesn't believe in them" and instead says he is always available to help out during the open mats
  4. The gym has tons of extremely successful BJJ athletes, one with a UFC contract, and multiple grapple fest and Polaris competitors
  5. All the instructors are capable and varied in their specialties, and are willing to roll with the students
  6. No qualms about cross-training, and has a stellar reputation and relationship with other gyms in the surrounding area
  7. Consistent and has many visitors from other gyms
  8. The main instructor has a sponsorship with a reputable BJJ brand and gives discounts to all students, but does not enforce any policy for what brands to wear
 

Hot Lunch

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Instructor promoted based on attendance rather than skill, and took the attendance with actual attendance cards
He promoted you as soon as you hit the required number of hours, or were the hours part of the eligibility requirements?
 

skribs

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  1. A very large majority of students were white belts - the ratio was downright disproportionate, with 1 purple and 2 blue belts per class, and over 20 white belts for an academy that has been established for a decade.
  2. Instructor promoted based on attendance rather than skill, and took the attendance with actual attendance cards
  3. The instructor only allowed us to train in official Gracie Barra Gis, and although he charged less for them than the actual website, the fees were extortionate. 瞿120 for a gi with bad sizing and lackluster material??
  4. The instructor would sometimes avoid answering questions about a technique you were working on and said you should book a private class with him instead
  5. Changed the timetable almost every 2 months, sometimes removing classes and open mats to leave "private booking" slots so that he could have more people pay for private classes
  6. Discouraging students from cross-training at other gyms
  7. Kicking me out of the gym group chat whilst I was abroad, even though I was competing under his gym/name and posting my results in the chat, and said he would add me back when I started paying gym fees again
Wow, I got through the first half of the first sentence thinking "this sounds like my gym". The difference is my gym will be 1 year old next month.

My professor does have us sign in for attendance...but that's just for eligibility for your next stripe. Sometimes it happens right on Day X, sometimes it happens later.

We're allowed to wear any gi as long as it's black.

Schedule has only changed because classes have been added. He did temporarily drop one class for a while, but that's because nobody showed up at 6 AM.

And when I told him I was starting back at Taekwondo, he said (with pure genuineness) "I'm happy for you." So did the other professor/muay thai coach.

As to your current professor, I don't know that I agree with "no private lessons". But if those become the focus, that's when it's a problem.
 

Ivan

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He promoted you as soon as you hit the required number of hours, or were the hours part of the eligibility requirements?
The first one. His promotions were never based on skill, but rather he used them a way to encourage you not to leave. He was too scared to let people sit at certain ranks for too long, or rather, he didn't care. At one point he even charged extra for higher grades as they had access to advanced classes, but he got rid of that before I began to train with him.
 

Ivan

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Wow, I got through the first half of the first sentence thinking "this sounds like my gym". The difference is my gym will be 1 year old next month.

My professor does have us sign in for attendance...but that's just for eligibility for your next stripe. Sometimes it happens right on Day X, sometimes it happens later.

We're allowed to wear any gi as long as it's black.

Schedule has only changed because classes have been added. He did temporarily drop one class for a while, but that's because nobody showed up at 6 AM.

And when I told him I was starting back at Taekwondo, he said (with pure genuineness) "I'm happy for you." So did the other professor/muay thai coach.

As to your current professor, I don't know that I agree with "no private lessons". But if those become the focus, that's when it's a problem.
Of course it depends on context. A gym that has been open for less than a year will take time to develop a range of higher ranking students etc.
 

JowGaWolf

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The instructor would sometimes avoid answering questions about a technique you were working on and said you should book a private class with him instead
This one is nuts. What's the purpose of the regular class lol?
I recently had to change BJJ academies due to some issues with my old one. Here were some of the issues I noticed, after I found this wasn't the norm:
  1. A very large majority of students were white belts - the ratio was downright disproportionate, with 1 purple and 2 blue belts per class, and over 20 white belts for an academy that has been established for a decade.
  2. Instructor promoted based on attendance rather than skill, and took the attendance with actual attendance cards
  3. The instructor only allowed us to train in official Gracie Barra Gis, and although he charged less for them than the actual website, the fees were extortionate. 瞿120 for a gi with bad sizing and lackluster material??
  4. The instructor would sometimes avoid answering questions about a technique you were working on and said you should book a private class with him instead
  5. Changed the timetable almost every 2 months, sometimes removing classes and open mats to leave "private booking" slots so that he could have more people pay for private classes
  6. Discouraging students from cross-training at other gyms
  7. Kicking me out of the gym group chat whilst I was abroad, even though I was competing under his gym/name and posting my results in the chat, and said he would add me back when I started paying gym fees again
Just as I had decided to move, I got a message from one of the other students, and apparently, one of the instructors who sometimes took the morning class had been accused by multiple women of harassment on and off the mats. Nope'd the love out of there immediately, and never looked back. My new gym since September has an awesome, competitive culture with some green flags:
  1. The head instructor has no issues keeping you at white belt for five years, and even losing you as a student, if he feels you are not ready for a promotion
  2. The head instructor leaves himself available during open mats to roll with, or help you with any techniques you're struggling with
  3. The head instructor does not offer any private sessions as he "doesn't believe in them" and instead says he is always available to help out during the open mats
  4. The gym has tons of extremely successful BJJ athletes, one with a UFC contract, and multiple grapple fest and Polaris competitors
  5. All the instructors are capable and varied in their specialties, and are willing to roll with the students
  6. No qualms about cross-training, and has a stellar reputation and relationship with other gyms in the surrounding area
  7. Consistent and has many visitors from other gyms
  8. The main instructor has a sponsorship with a reputable BJJ brand and gives discounts to all students, but does not enforce any policy for what brands to wear
That's definitely a dysfunctional place. Training at a place like that means that you'll leave with more problems than you arrived with. I'm not a fan of private sessions like what you described. If a student has a question, then I want other students to hear it so that they can learn from it. That means I don't have to repeat it 50 individual times. It's easier to on me and the students and it promotes growth and knowledge.
 

Rhollis1974

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I've been thinking on what some of the red flags would be for me to not train someone or what would warrant banishment from class. I've only seen a handful of people banned or excommunicated in my lifetime.

What have been some of your experiences with this matter as an instructor or student?

What are some of the red flags you look for or criteria you have for students?

How "picky" do you think you are as an instructor?
This Saturday Ill be reuniting with my TKD teacher from over 17 years ago. I was out of TKD for just over 17 years ago and just started over with a new school last year. Im interested to hear and see his response. I have no intention of leaving the school Im at but a little nervous hoping he doesnt try to persuade me to leave and come to the school hes now affiliated with. Ive missed him so much and was extremely excited to find him after all these years. He was always patient, properly affectionate and kind to me. He made a huge impact in my life. Can hardly wait to see him.
 

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