When Martial Arts Instructors become questionable...


MTS Alumni
Aug 15, 2006
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West Melbourne, FL
Boar Man, great post! It definitely isn't selling out if you are trying to run a business. My biggest concern is that some of the instructor have a hard time splitting the business and the martial arts. They try to take the rank and structure of the MA into the running of their business. I mean, respect always holds, but money and MA should be dealt with separately.


Brown Belt
Dec 30, 2008
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Boar Man, I fully agree with you on that. As students, it's not our place to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on how to run their business or their school. The curriculum or fees may be adjusted, or new ranking systems may be brought in, to make it a more viable source of income.

But running a business is no excuse for a instructor to cheat, manipulate, or shaft his students. Which can be common in the MAs because we idolize our masters, set them up on pedestals, do what they want when they want it (without asking why), and cater to their whims and needs.

However, it's in that aspect of actually cheating students where perceptions pretty much change for the negative. Like any business, an agreement should be honored by all parties involved, and when one side fails to uphold their end, it can result not just in a loss of business, but also receiving the notoriety of being untrustworthy.

Sadly on a personal note, a former student from our group just recently told me of an incident in which my teacher had not upheld his part of an agreement, and essentially took hundreds from him and a few other students, without any explanation. Taking a page from this thread, I can't really judge him for that. It was a bad choice on his part, but perhaps there was a valid reason. Yet for the students who had paid that money, I think they're at least owed an explanation.

For myself, I've always considered myself a loyal person, but the more I re-read this thread, I think I'm slowly coming to terms with the likelihood that, no matter what option I do pick on continuing my own martial arts journey- be it a new teacher/guide, a new martial arts, or just time to train on my own, etc.- it's probably time for me to take a leave of the group, and take a different fork in the road. I just now noticed how many times I used synonyms for the concept of "probably". I'm sure I still have some attachment, but I need to be true to myself.