Why would you

bluemtn

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i have been a school owner for years teaching for over thirty and have heard it all and was wondering if this is the norm, or is it just in my area that this happens.
Yes I'm overwieght and yes I have been told this by alot of people but really had no bearing on the scenrio just out of curiousty. That is all, converstation and trying to understand perseption from students.


I don't believe in making excuses, Terry. My instructors are 40+, and some in the association are overweight. Also, most of them charge at most $60/ mo., no contracts. Would I have a problem with going to train with them? Just as long as the instruction is quality.
 

lostinseattle

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you are absolutely amazed about the way the class is ran, all the kids are doing what is ask of them and are being polite. Then you stay to see the advance belts and are even more amazed at the quality of there workout, so you stay another hour to watch the adult class it is a bit slower but still the workout is great.

You also find out that all but two instructor are in the mid to late 40 or older and this is a major concern for you.

You go back and talk again with the head instructor and enjoy the converstation and he gives you pricing like this, 6 days a week $75.00 a month, 3 days only $50.00 a month you reply well that is cheaper than everybody how come and you are given that you try and keep your pricing down so everyone will be able to offord classes.

Ummm ... I'd say, what do you have against fat people?
 

tellner

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"I can certainly charge you double to work out with less-skilled twenty-somethings if it would make you feel better."
 

lostinseattle

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"I can certainly charge you double to work out with less-skilled twenty-somethings if it would make you feel better."

A lot of people are probably taking MA to lose weight these days, judging by all the overweight people in MA classes that I've run into. (More than the general population in some classes).

Perhaps they don't want to study with an instructor who is overweight considering one of their goals is to lose weight.

If people's interest is health rather than self defense, an overweight instructor could be a major turnoff.
 

MJS

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Here is the scenerio,

You are looking for a school for you and the family, you walk in and see this overwieght instructor not out of shape but overwieght, you talk to him and get all the info. and stay and watch a class and you are absolutely amazed about the way the class is ran, all the kids are doing what is ask of them and are being polite. Then you stay to see the advance belts and are even more amazed at the quality of there workout, so you stay another hour to watch the adult class it is a bit slower but still the workout is great.

You also find out that all but two instructor are in the mid to late 40 or older and this is a major concern for you.

You go back and talk again with the head instructor and enjoy the converstation and he gives you pricing like this, 6 days a week $75.00 a month, 3 days only $50.00 a month you reply well that is cheaper than everybody how come and you are given that you try and keep your pricing down so everyone will be able to offord classes.


Then out of the blue you say to the instructor one of these phases.

A) I would train with you but I just can't get by that you are overwieght, therefor I will be training at studio B even though they are a lesser school

B) I like what you have to offer but since you are less expenses I would probaly get better instruction from the higher price school

C) All of your instructor are kinda old so I would be better off with the younger instructor.


Please explain which one would be your answer and if not any of them what other choices do you have

The weight issue, while it is important to be in good shape, isn't too much of an issue for me. What can this person teach me? Does he know the material, can he apply it, and make it all work? Thats what matters to me. The same thing with the age. The pricing doesnt seem bad. Of course, that also depends on how long the classes are. Are they an hour? Are they 1 1/2hrs?

All that said, I would have to choose option D...yes, I'd train here. :)

Mike
 

Sukerkin

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I'm with Coryks, kidswarrior, Tellner and all the others with positive things to say on this.

My sensei is approaching his 70's and I hope he has many more years tuition in him yet as I am far short of his abilities (and may never be his equal (which wont stop me trying to be as good)).

The whole point of martial arts is that experience is the key. Okay, if you're entranced by the flashy mixed-martial-arts 'ultimate fighter' nonsense then athletic prowess is important. Otherwise, if you're seeking the kernels of meaningful truth in an art then I want a tutor with some seniority.

I think a simplistic truism might be expressed something like "Ability to jump is not ability to teach".
 

IcemanSK

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I'm sorry that I can't easily answer your questions at this late hour, Terry. However, I do have a thought. The majority of the audience for these questions are MA-ists: & seasoned ones at that! Most of us have seen great things from MA-ists that appeared out of shape. Most of us are a bit past a layman's opinion on such things.

I do think however, that a lot of folks think that MA instructors should look like Ernie Reyes Jr (or an old master) & feel that if folks don't charge much it's of less value. The sad part is, those folks go to the expensive school & get turned off to MA after spending too much.

It's usually an up hill battle. Many folks think "the grass is greener" when it comes to comparing MA schools. It does sound like these folks had something going on that had little to do with you, Terry.

Stay the course, my friend.
 

Carol

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Personally? I joined MA because I wasn't happy with a lot of things going on in my life. Would an overweight instructor have turned me off? Maybe a bit. Then again, my attitude wasn't all that great either and I know I was not thinking of other people as well as I could have or should have.

When I was looking at martial arts schools for the second time, I had one person in mind that I really wanted to check out. The person in question is among the highest ranking and best known martial artists in the Boston area. I mentioned this to an acquaintance while talking on IM. My acquaintence's reaction was "Um, how big is that person anyway?" I told the person that I wasn't paying any attention to the gi size of my instructor, I was more concerned about teaching style and class schedule.

So...going forward? Now, I would definitely say "where do I sign". But going in as a moody, narrow-minded wanna-be white belt...I may have joined up anyway because I would have had the confidence that the instructor knows what he was doing and wasn't looking to wail on me. But I can't say for sure that I would have been as open-minded as I would like to admit.
 

Shaderon

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If people's interest is health rather than self defense, an overweight instructor could be a major turnoff.

I'm sorry but my view is that if someone is in it for weight loss or health, then wouldn't it be better for them to join a gym and go to the included classes or hire a personal trainer every couple of months?

As a white belt, I wasn't put off my my instructors weight at all (My Aikido instructor was very portly), rather I thought "well if he can get a black belt looking like that, what could he have done if he was fitter?". It impressed me more that someone who is overweight can have a black belt, surely their muscles have to work harder than someone who isn't overweight? That's not my thoughts now BTW, it was when I first started.
 

CoryKS

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I'm sorry but my view is that if someone is in it for weight loss or health, then wouldn't it be better for them to join a gym and go to the included classes or hire a personal trainer every couple of months?

I agree with this sentiment. Just because you can lose weight doing karate doesn't mean that it's the right choice as a weight loss program. Of course, that's at the discretion of the school owner - some do advertise the fitness aspect.

You know what else is good for losing weight? Marine Corps boot camp. You would not believe the number of obese kids that try to join the Marines in the hope that they're going to a fat farm. Few of them make it through basic. The drill instructors get really mad at the recruiters for signing these kids up.
 

Andrew Green

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Anybody that thinks joining the marines and going through boot camp is a good way too loose weight needs to watch "Full Metal Jacket" until they smarten up. You don't go there to get into shape, you get into shape before you go there, or you come home early after one miserable experience.
 

kidswarrior

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Personally? I joined MA because I wasn't happy with a lot of things going on in my life. Would an overweight instructor have turned me off? Maybe a bit. Then again, my attitude wasn't all that great either and I know I was not thinking of other people as well as I could have or should have.

So...going forward? Now, I would definitely say "where do I sign". But going in as a moody, narrow-minded wanna-be white belt...I may have joined up anyway because I would have had the confidence that the instructor knows what he was doing and wasn't looking to wail on me. But I can't say for sure that I would have been as open-minded as I would like to admit.

Thanks for the refreshing openess, Carol. Shows the MA transformation in process, which is not something that most of us have the ability to share about ourselves. We often want to believe and convince others to believe the best about us, that we know it all, that we always take the high road. In fact, we're all human, flawed, have shortcomings, and sometimes make selfish decisions.

As you implied, the best MA changes some of this over time and through training. And I was pretty much a narrow-minded wanna-be white belt, too. Ya spot it, ya got it, huh? :)
 

xTNVx NirVana

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Too many people see "overweight" and assume "incapable" despite any and all of the evidence to the contrary. As people age, then tend to gain weight more easily; they are also more likely to have injuries that affect their ability to maintain their fitness. The senior master instructor in our association is overweight - but that's due largely to knee injuries sustained in the armed forces that caught up with him and reduced his ability to sustain long-term activity of the sort needed to keep weight off as he aged. In no way does it detract from his ability to instruct - and he teaches an incredibly intense class.

If the person who is checking the class asks any of the questions above, discuss with them the reason(s) the instructor may be overweight that may be public knowledge (ignore any that are not) and if that doesn't convince them - then let 'em go; they're not going to make a good student for that particular student at this point in their own lives, because they are allowing a single factor - and one that is pretty minor in the overall scheme of things - to override all of the other factors that can show quality of instruction.
You are very right. My Sensei is overwight, but he is very talented in Shaolin Kempo. He has a big belly, but that means nothing. He is a 5th degree black belt who has been invited to his 6th degree test. Size is not a factor if you have talent in the martial arts (Except for some things like flying kicks)
 

lostinseattle

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You are very right. My Sensei is overwight, but he is very talented in Shaolin Kempo. He has a big belly, but that means nothing. He is a 5th degree black belt who has been invited to his 6th degree test. Size is not a factor if you have talent in the martial arts (Except for some things like flying kicks)

If you're a school owner in this day and age, though, you probably better lose the pounds otherwise you could find yourself losing your school to the local USSD. Not a lot of people seem to want to really learn self defense anymore. A LOT of people seem to want to learn MA to lose some weight and get into shape.
 

xTNVx NirVana

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I'm not an instructor. I'm a young student if you will. Abd I learn MA for the experience and just to learn the art, not to lose weight. I'n not self concious as much as most people are. I'm actually a bit under average weight, so I'm in fine physically.
 

lostinseattle

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I'm not an instructor. I'm a young student if you will. Abd I learn MA for the experience and just to learn the art, not to lose weight. I'n not self concious as much as most people are. I'm actually a bit under average weight, so I'm in fine physically.

Well, that's good for you. But for those teachers out there who are wondering why they're losing students, they might want to pay attention to this.

For example one local kempo teacher who has like 30 years teaching experience who coincidentally has a huge belly could no longer make enough $ to support his school, and is wondering why while the USSDs that have sifus with like 3 years experience learning, not even teaching, are popping up all around and doing great.

Well I hate to tell people but if people are taking MA to get into shape and lose weight (a lot of people are heavy), they probably aren't going to want a big old instructor teaching no matter how good he is.
 

Xue Sheng

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Then out of the blue you say to the instructor one of these phases.

A) I would train with you but I just can't get by that you are overwieght, therefor I will be training at studio B even though they are a lesser school

B) I like what you have to offer but since you are less expenses I would probaly get better instruction from the higher price school

C) All of your instructor are kinda old so I would be better off with the younger instructor.


Please explain which one would be your answer and if not any of them what other choices do you have

Let them leave.

They already have a bias and preformed opinions of what they want. And those opinions are basically it is better to look good than feel good and young is better than old (in their opinion). They are more interested in the superficial than actually depth. Likely they will not stay long at any school.

If they are truly interested and truly serious about learning a martial art they will go to school B see that it is not as good as school A and return to School A.

Coming from CMA and knowing a bit about training in internal CMA styles finding an older teacher is generally a good thing. Sorry if this upsets anyone, but I would never go to a school that was run by a 20 year old Taiji, Xingyi, Yiquan, Bagua alleged master and I would have to watch a 40 year old closely and know a lot about his/her training before I committed as well.
 

kidswarrior

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Let them leave.

They already have a bias and preformed opinions of what they want. And those opinions are basically it is better to look good than feel good and young is better than old (in their opinion). They are more interested in the superficial than actually depth. Likely they will not stay long at any school.

If they are truly interested and truly serious about learning a martial art they will go to school B see that it is not as good as school A and return to School A.

Exactly. Who needs a student who knows it all from Day 1? It's hard enough teaching new students who are receptive.

Coming from CMA and knowing a bit about training in internal CMA styles finding an older teacher is generally a good thing. Sorry if this upsets anyone, but I would never go to a school that was run by a 20 year old Taiji, Xingyi, Yiquan, Bagua alleged master and I would have to watch a 40 year old closely and know a lot about his/her training before I committed as well.

I've been waiting for someone to say this. Thanks, Xue Sheng. Are we so youth oriented as a society, and so far removed from the Asian roots of the MA, that we can no longer appreciate experience and wisdom, as I've always been taught is the custom in Asian culture? Don't mean to step on toes, but this is an especially important point to me.
 
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