When instructors start a new martial art...

geezer

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On the thread about "long range planning", Searcher posted that he had plans for his school, but also was considering taking up a new martial art to challenge himself. I'm sure many of you who are instructors and run schools have taken up new arts. But students often have an expectation that their instructor should be something of a paradigm of skill and fitness. If you as an instructor publicly train in a new and very different art from what you now teach, you will be seen as just another beginner. Does this pose a problem for business and moral? Do you avoid it by training privately in the new art? Or do you let people see you as another ordinary mortal, just like anybody else?
 

MJS

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On the thread about "long range planning", Searcher posted that he had plans for his school, but also was considering taking up a new martial art to challenge himself. I'm sure many of you who are instructors and run schools have taken up new arts. But students often have an expectation that their instructor should be something of a paradigm of skill and fitness. If you as an instructor publicly train in a new and very different art from what you now teach, you will be seen as just another beginner. Does this pose a problem for business and moral? Do you avoid it by training privately in the new art? Or do you let people see you as another ordinary mortal, just like anybody else?

IMO, being able to strap on a white belt and start something new, even if you are already a black belt in another art, is showing that the person is humble. Now, if the instructor starts taking BJJ classes, in addition to whatever the other art he teaches is, I do not feel that he should be advertising or teaching that other art. How could a newbie to an art, despite his past experience, teach something with any effectiveness? Thats kinda like a newbie to Kenpo, taking an intro lesson and 2 days later, leading a class.

Now, if that inst. reaches blue or purple belt in BJJ, which takes quite some time, then yes, I could see them offering BJJ classes. By that time, they should have a pretty good understanding of BJJ, and be able to teach with some effectiveness.
 

hkfuie

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I put on the white belt, tell my students all about it, let them see I am human, share with them my excitement, and show them that martial arts training is a long, long path that you can travel for a lifetime.

You only have to be the all-knowing, never wrong, perfect "master" if you decide you want to, IMO. I have enough to do in my life without pretending to be something superhuman. ;) And I feel alot more peace when I don't have to lie about who I am.

Martial arts has been an incredible influence fr the better in my life, but it has not made me perfect yet. :)
 

stickarts

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I think it is very important to always be learning something new and I tell my students that regularly. Its keeps you learning and humble. I will not teach anything that I am not qualified to teach, however, I will discuss new things I am learning. Your advanced students in particular will respect the fact that you are still learning. The more you progress and learn means that you can continue to teach them. teachers that don't keep learning will lose their advanced students sooner or later.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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It is always good to keep growing at every stage during your martial journey.
It is also cool to let everyone around you see that growth!
icon6.gif
 

Daniel Sullivan

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On the thread about "long range planning", Searcher posted that he had plans for his school, but also was considering taking up a new martial art to challenge himself. I'm sure many of you who are instructors and run schools have taken up new arts. But students often have an expectation that their instructor should be something of a paradigm of skill and fitness. If you as an instructor publicly train in a new and very different art from what you now teach, you will be seen as just another beginner. Does this pose a problem for business and moral? Do you avoid it by training privately in the new art? Or do you let people see you as another ordinary mortal, just like anybody else?
I think that if an instructor can train publicly as a beginner in a new art and still maintain their training and teaching level in the art that they presently instruct, they are showing themselves to be masters of time management.

It also bucks the trend of school owners claiming to be masters in every known martial art and it encourages crosstraining. An instructor training as a beginner elsewhere also is showing a sense of community between the martial arts schools of the area. So in all, I'd consider it a good thing.

Daniel
 

Carol

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Personally if it were me...I have told my reports that I will never, ever ask them to do something that I would not personally do myself. If I ever earn a black belt and/or students, I will go by the same principles. I'd have no issue at all with tying on a white belt.
 

IcemanSK

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I started boxing while I was teaching TKD. The boxing gym was across the street from the school where I teaching. I was 26 & brought a 16-ish, very talented 1st gup student with me my first day. My goal was to expand both of our techniques. This talented student (now an LEO) didn't go back. I think the accountability of bringing a student with me made me work harder. For me, that accountability was a help. I can see it didn't help my student.
 

phfman

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I think Guro Inosanto is a great example of this. He has become a "white belt" in many different arts despite his level of martial arts expertise.
 
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geezer

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I started boxing while I was teaching TKD. The boxing gym was across the street from the school where I teaching. I was 26 & brought a 16-ish, very talented 1st gup student with me my first day. My goal was to expand both of our techniques. This talented student (now an LEO) didn't go back. I think the accountability of bringing a student with me made me work harder. For me, that accountability was a help. I can see it didn't help my student.

Didn't go back to the boxing gym , or didn't go back to your TKD school?

BTW great input y'all.
 

MarkBarlow

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I always have a white obi in my gym bag and have no problem strapping it on when visiting dojo. Too many instructors feel that ability in one art extends to all arts. That's right up there with instructors offering students advice on their personal life when they themselves can't walk a straight line outside the dojo.
 

Carol

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I always have a white obi in my gym bag and have no problem strapping it on when visiting dojo. Too many instructors feel that ability in one art extends to all arts. That's right up there with instructors offering students advice on their personal life when they themselves can't walk a straight line outside the dojo.

That is an excellent idea Mark. I tend to visit in athletic clothes (its what I usually where when with my teacher and conveniently avoids the rank issue) but carrying a plain white belt with a gi sounds like an even nicer idea.
 

terryl965

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For me I have no problem with putting on a white belt in front of all my students. My BB's are in TKD and Okinawa karate.
 

Twin Fist

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i have done it before and I am fixing to do it again, since I am on a quest to find a kajukenbo instructor.
 

searcher

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In the other thread you aksed if I would train privately or would I train in an environment where my students may be training right beside me. I have trained privately when taking up a different style AND I have trained with a class. I have never been in a class with my own students outside of a seminar situation, but I would not have a problem with training right beside them, I am first and formost a student of the martial arts. IMO, if an instructor is not pushing to make themselves better, whether in their primary style or in another, they run a high risk of becoming stagnate(sp?) and I do not want this to happen with me. I have trained in several styles and hold BB rank in a few different ones, but I am needing the challenge of "new" material and I need to be in an environment where I am not in control. I have never had a problem with putting on a white belt and starting fresh. It is actually quite refreshing and you never know what tasty little tidbit you might pick up from an instructor. Seeing how others do things can open up your eyes to a great many things. I encourage my senior students to go and train with other instructors, it helps broaden their base of skills and it helps them network.
 

crushing

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I think that if an instructor can train publicly as a beginner in a new art and still maintain their training and teaching level in the art that they presently instruct, they are showing themselves to be masters of time management.

It also bucks the trend of school owners claiming to be masters in every known martial art and it encourages crosstraining. An instructor training as a beginner elsewhere also is showing a sense of community between the martial arts schools of the area. So in all, I'd consider it a good thing.

Daniel

I definately agree and have a personal experience.

My TKD teacher (3rd Dan) showed up at my CHKD class to get an idea what it was about. He happened to be taking an evening class at the college where we teach CHKD. It was interesting and I was a little nervous (and honored at the same time) in the role reversal as I was teaching him some beginning techniques.
 

AMP-RYU

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I think it shows respect to the arts and to your students to train right beside your students in your class and in another class! Why not? It shows that you are human and also shows how your working toward everlasting training in the martial arts! I personally years ago had a capoeria meistre come to my town and offer capoeria to me and I set up classes with him in my school, and I trained right along side my students for almost two years! Never had a problem with it.:asian:
 

Korppi76

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Many of my senseis have trained also other martial arts some are even instructors in many arts. I also do that but I don't think myself as sensei/instructor even though I teach.

I think it doesn't usually bother people except when some instructor decide to change art totally.
 

YoungMan

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I think it shows respect to the arts and to your students to train right beside your students in your class and in another class! Why not? It shows that you are human and also shows how your working toward everlasting training in the martial arts! I personally years ago had a capoeria meistre come to my town and offer capoeria to me and I set up classes with him in my school, and I trained right along side my students for almost two years! Never had a problem with it.:asian:

Why not? Because there is a certain distance that should be kept between the instructor and the students. I would not train with students for the same reason I would not have a casual/social relationship with teachers of mine. It denigrates that relationship and makes it too casual. If you want to train in another art, fine. Just do it away from your students. I couldn't imagine having an instructor of mine as a fellow student and training with them. We don't have that kind of relationship.
 
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