Why would you

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,581
Reaction score
5,981
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
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.

You are correct, it is very important because is people walk into a Martial arts school and say nope, the teacher is too old I am not going here then that would also meant that in todays society that a Morihei Ueshiba or a Sun Lutang would have few or no students while the Mc Dojos down the street that has 20 something teachers who teach Taiji or generic Kung fu would have more students that were learning much less and thereby undermining the martial arts or religating it to a dance class.

As an additional note, my first Sifu was from north China and said the following;

"There are no masters under 50"

He was referring to CMA since he knew littel of any other martial art outside of China.

As to the weight, same thing, if this logic is correct for today’s society says you have 2 schools right next door

School A is a Generic CMA school with teachers that look like Gymnasts that are all 20 something teaching Taiji, Yang 24 for example.

School B has Yang Chengfu as a teacher.

Then by the logic of the questions asked in the original post

School A has more students and School B has fewer.

Chengfu is old and overweight.

Weight and age of the teacher are just not criteria for choosing a good MA school in my opinion. And if someone walks in with that attitude, let them go it is not worth the argument.
 

rmclain

Black Belt
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
538
Reaction score
17
Location
Arlington, Texas
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.

This is the trend I've seen over the years as well.

Most places I've personally seen with overweight instructors enroll children and teenagers as students, not adults.

R. McLain
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
151
Location
California
This is the trend I've seen over the years as well.

Most places I've personally seen with overweight instructors enroll children and teenagers as students, not adults.

R. McLain

Well, not to promote 'overweight' as an M.O. for instructors, but are we saying we implicitly value the teaching of children and teens less than adults?

I think in general, the answer is yes. I know when I tell people I teach HS, most seem only too willing to slot me into that 'unimportant' pigeonhole. But if I have a little fun with them, and instead choose to talk about my night job, teaching grad school for teacher credential/MA candidates, their eyes light up. Ooohhh, a professor! Personally I'd rather spend my time with the teens. Why do we value work with children less?

The answer may say a lot about our society and how it really feels about kids. :wink1:
 

rmclain

Black Belt
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
538
Reaction score
17
Location
Arlington, Texas
Well, not to promote 'overweight' as an M.O. for instructors, but are we saying we implicitly value the teaching of children and teens less than adults?

:wink1:

I can't speak for anyone else, but this is not what I am saying. I am implying that children and teenagers (or their parents) choose instructors based on different criteria than most adults looking for themselves.

Children are the most important because they represent the future. This should be more of a motivator for instructors to care for their own personal health. A student that looks up to their instructor and thinks, "Wow! Mr. X is a great karate man and teacher and I want to be like him," is a problem when this greatness is associated with adult obesity. While obesity doesn't take away from someone as a person, it does pose a significant health risk. Instructing students to physically protect themselves against attackers, stress, self-doubt (among other things), they should also be taught to defend themselves against future health problems, such as coronary heart disease, Type-II Diabeties, etc. These are all associated with being overweight.

R. McLain
 

Shaderon

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
4
Location
Cheshire, England
This is the trend I've seen over the years as well.

Most places I've personally seen with overweight instructors enroll children and teenagers as students, not adults.

R. McLain


Doesn't this also emphasise the fact that children and teens are more open minded? Maybe this is why they learn better then us adults. Kids learn off whoever has the ability to teach them something, they learn off each other as well as adults, they don't measure a person's ability to teach by what they look like, well not usually, they measure it by what they learn and the rank of the teacher. To a child a black belt is the same as being a qualified teacher in a school, and a grandmaster is a headmaster I guess. Some adults could do with taking a page out of that book and remember once more to be open minded about learning.
 

Shaderon

Master of Arts
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Messages
1,524
Reaction score
4
Location
Cheshire, England
I can't speak for anyone else, but this is not what I am saying. I am implying that children and teenagers (or their parents) choose instructors based on different criteria than most adults looking for themselves.

Children are the most important because they represent the future. This should be more of a motivator for instructors to care for their own personal health. A student that looks up to their instructor and thinks, "Wow! Mr. X is a great karate man and teacher and I want to be like him," is a problem when this greatness is associated with adult obesity. While obesity doesn't take away from someone as a person, it does pose a significant health risk. Instructing students to physically protect themselves against attackers, stress, self-doubt (among other things), they should also be taught to defend themselves against future health problems, such as coronary heart disease, Type-II Diabeties, etc. These are all associated with being overweight.

R. McLain


Sorry for the double post but R.McLain posted while I was doing so.

The shape of a person doesn't neccesarily mean they are unfit, it is actually a proven scientific fact that a fat person who does regular excercise is MUCH better off with less chance of having a heart attack than a thin person who does very little. I can't post links to fact checks as a) I read this in a mens fitness magazine and b) I checked this fact with my doctor.

Just the fact that the overweight person is doing something active gives a positive impression, it shows that anyone can do an MA regardless of bodyshape, some people are just built like that! I know a few people who couldn't loose weight for the life of them even through starving themselves nearly!!! Know how I know? It's my mum and her family, it's genetic! Yet my mum was one of the healthiest people around through constant physical excercise, she only stopped because she got a tumor and was bedridden.

Like I said in my last post, children are open minded, they will see what the instructor is doing and what they are learning. I think it would actually encourage obese and otherwise unfit children and teens to have a go. When I was unfit I was scared of starting an MA because I didn't think I would keep up with the class, I'm glad I did, my portly Aikido instructor put me at ease.
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
151
Location
California
The shape of a person doesn't neccesarily mean they are unfit, it is actually a proven scientific fact that a fat person who does regular excercise is MUCH better off with less chance of having a heart attack than a thin person who does very little. I can't post links to fact checks as a) I read this in a mens fitness magazine and b) I checked this fact with my doctor.

Yeah, read this one this week: 'He was built like a bowling ball, only not as soft.' My wife's grandmother was a little overweight her whole life--all 101 years of it.

Just the fact that the overweight person is doing something active gives a positive impression, it shows that anyone can do an MA regardless of bodyshape, some people are just built like that!

Yes, I've seen this, too. A similar example is I see kids all the time who need to wear glasses, but won't because it's uncool. Though my wife and I have discussed it, I have deliberately opted not to have laser eye surgery, wear contacts, or whatever to avoid wearing my glasses. I wear them deliberately to show kids they can have four eyes and still be martial artists (and when the attack comes, we won't have time to take them off, so better learn to defend ourselves while wearing them).

Like I said in my last post, children are open minded, they will see what the instructor is doing and what they are learning. I think it would actually encourage obese and otherwise unfit children and teens to have a go. When I was unfit I was scared of starting an MA because I didn't think I would keep up with the class, I'm glad I did, my portly Aikido instructor put me at ease.

I emphasized your quote, because it's a great point.

Do I want to encourage kids to be overweight? Obviously not. Do I hope all kids need corrective lenses? Of course not. But as Shaderon said, Kids are open minded. I think I would add, kids see through the external to the center of a person. They recognize and genuinely accept people who are doing their best for them.
 

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,084
Reaction score
731
Location
Kennewick, WA
Just the fact that the overweight person is doing something active gives a positive impression, it shows that anyone can do an MA regardless of bodyshape, some people are just built like that! I know a few people who couldn't loose weight for the life of them even through starving themselves nearly!!! Know how I know? It's my mum and her family, it's genetic! Yet my mum was one of the healthiest people around through constant physical excercise, she only stopped because she got a tumor and was bedridden.

Like I said in my last post, children are open minded, they will see what the instructor is doing and what they are learning. I think it would actually encourage obese and otherwise unfit children and teens to have a go. When I was unfit I was scared of starting an MA because I didn't think I would keep up with the class, I'm glad I did, my portly Aikido instructor put me at ease.

Aikido may be the exception, but with most martial arts you will do better if you are fitter. Period. Mostly this shows up in competitive martial arts, where I challenge you to find a champion who is overweight, much less obese; capoeira, wushu, wrestling, kickboxing, muay thai, judo, boxing (old George Foreman was fat, young Foreman was NOT), fencing, kendo, jui-jitsu, olympic tae-kwondo, MMA, tournament point-fighting, whatever. SOME sumo players can be considered overweight, but only the heavyweights where there is no upper limit, take a look at any of the lighter weight classes.

I do have a negative impression of many martial artists if they are fat, alot of times they were great when they were younger, but have since lost the battle against the bulge. I have a much lower impression of younger martial artists that are fat. Heck, I do kenpo, all you have to do is look at about 3/4 of our "seniors" to see piss-poor examples of fitness. Alot of martial artists like to market their classes because it teaches "discipline." OK, good, please use that discipline and put the fork down and work out more. If you market yourself for "self-defense," well, guess what, fitness is a huge factor in self-defense. How many people tell you to "run away" or "nike-fu" is the first option? Cool, what is your one mile run speed there lard butt? How about your 40 yard dash? So now being overweight limits your self-defense options. "But a street fight only lasts 30 seconds," uh huh, except when they don't.

You don't need to be fit to be a good coach, but generally you will be a better martial artist if you are fit, and you are setting a poor example for your students, because they too will be better if they are fit. Yes, some people have a genetic predisposition or medical condition, but the fact is the biggest problem is forkinmouth disease.

Lamont
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
151
Location
California
Aikido may be the exception, but with most martial arts you will do better if you are fitter. Period.

Fitter than what? You use a relative term to make an absolute statement: 'period'. Doesn't work.

Mostly this shows up in competitive martial arts

Exactly. So what about the student who doesn't care about competition?

I do have a negative impression of many martial artists if they are fat, alot of times they were great when they were younger, but have since lost the battle against the bulge. I have a much lower impression of younger martial artists that are fat. Heck, I do kenpo, all you have to do is look at about 3/4 of our "seniors" to see piss-poor examples of fitness.

Have you shared that with them?

You don't need to be fit to be a good coach, but generally you will be a better martial artist if you are fit

I agree with this, but again, what is fit for one person may be out of shape for another. It's relative, not absolute. People may need time to grow, develop, become better--or get back to the shape they were in previously. None of us is perfect, not even instructors, and not even senior instructors. If someone is doing the best they can, I for one will not judge them.
 

Blindside

Grandmaster
Founding Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2001
Messages
5,084
Reaction score
731
Location
Kennewick, WA
Fitter than what? You use a relative term to make an absolute statement: 'period'. Doesn't work.
Strength, cardio, anaerobic fitness, are attributes. Technique is a portion of martial arts, but what you are capable of pulling off is often dependent upon those attributes. If you have equal technique, the guy with the better attributes wins. In many cases the guy with the better attributes can make up for alot of bad technique. So "fitter" is entirely appropriate, and you are correct, it isn't an absolute statement, it is about whoever the heck you wind up against.


Exactly. So what about the student who doesn't care about competition?
Competition or not, being in better shape will give you the attributes to be a better martial artist, and that is the goal right?

Have you shared that with them?
They have a mirror, black isn't THAT slimming.

I agree with this, but again, what is fit for one person may be out of shape for another. It's relative, not absolute. People may need time to grow, develop, become better--or get back to the shape they were in previously. None of us is perfect, not even instructors, and not even senior instructors. If someone is doing the best they can, I for one will not judge them.

I don't claim to be perfect, I'm trying to get back to what I consider fighting shape myself. But a beer gut isn't an accident, you have to work at that, so that instructor can't complain when someone doesn't sign up with their class because they are overweight. It generally points to a certain lack of discipline in the instructor.

Lamont
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
151
Location
California
Strength, cardio, anaerobic fitness, are attributes. Technique is a portion of martial arts, but what you are capable of pulling off is often dependent upon those attributes. If you have equal technique, the guy with the better attributes wins. In many cases the guy with the better attributes can make up for alot of bad technique. So "fitter" is entirely appropriate, and you are correct, it isn't an absolute statement, it is about whoever the heck you wind up against.

Yeah, that I can agree with. I'd like to bring it back to the topic, though, which is studios/instruction. Couldn't we also say, the guy with the better technique can make up for a lot of bad 'attributes' (like being out of shape)?



Competition or not, being in better shape will give you the attributes to be a better martial artist, and that is the goal right?
Yeah, I can agree with that, too. I like thinking in terms of progression/process ('better' shape) more than finality/summary assessment (as in absolutes: 'he's fat' or some such :)).


They have a mirror, black isn't THAT slimming.
:lol:



I don't claim to be perfect, I'm trying to get back to what I consider fighting shape myself. But a beer gut isn't an accident, you have to work at that, so that instructor can't complain when someone doesn't sign up with their class because they are overweight. It generally points to a certain lack of discipline in the instructor.

Lamont

I know. But again, as I've gotten older, have tried to apply the one finger pointed at him, three pointed back at me, principle. We want to be the best Kenpoist examples possible, right? (and not just in body shape). :)
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,358
Reaction score
4,653
Location
England
Or how about this case: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/6404229.stm
4-year old pictures, that where done in her spare time, and people are making a big stink about it. Does it in any way effect her skills as a teacher? No, but apparently it is a big issue for some.

This is blatently hypocritical, decent people don't read the News of the World so what were these 'upstanding' parents doing reading it in the first place?

All instructors are younger than me.
 

Carol

Crazy like a...
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
20,311
Reaction score
540
Location
NH
Doesn't this also emphasise the fact that children and teens are more open minded? Maybe this is why they learn better then us adults. Kids learn off whoever has the ability to teach them something, they learn off each other as well as adults, they don't measure a person's ability to teach by what they look like, well not usually, they measure it by what they learn and the rank of the teacher. To a child a black belt is the same as being a qualified teacher in a school, and a grandmaster is a headmaster I guess. Some adults could do with taking a page out of that book and remember once more to be open minded about learning.

Either that or it just means that to young folks we are all the same. We're just "old"! :D
 

lostinseattle

Green Belt
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle, WA
Either that or it just means that to young folks we are all the same. We're just "old"! :D

Young people don't seem to tend to think that much about stuff. There's this movie called 'Jesus Camp' where the pastor was saying that a lot of people are so fat and that it's lazy, and un-Christian, etc.

This was hugely hipocritical because she is obese herself. The kids are listening to her, and the hipocrisy didn't really seem to register. They kindof blinked and that was about it.
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
151
Location
California
All instructors are younger than me.

Tez, I've never contradicted you but you may have pushed me too far. I may decide to get my ID out to prove you wrong. :ultracool And if that somehow doesn't work, there's the matter of my Grand Master, who is 14 years older than I. He'll be 70 this year, and my goal is to get a little younger every year as he must have done, so by the time I'm his age I'll finally be able to move and fight like he does! :tantrum:
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
151
Location
California
Either that or it just means that to young folks we are all the same. We're just "old"! :D

Carol, to the teens I teach you're undoubtedly ancient, but for myself, I'd just like to be able to remember being your age. :lol2: Just kidding. Gimme a high-five :high5:

Seriously here's a funny story ( :confused: ). Today after my teen MA class, one of the senior students was telling me some of the younger guys were claiming that our art wouldn't really work on the street. The storyteller asked them, But haven't you seen (referring to me) move? Their reply: Yeah, but he's like Jackie Chan! :lfao: When I came home and told my wife, I think she injured herself falling hysterically to the floor. Had she been able to talk, I believe she would have said: Sure, if you mean a fat, worn out 56 year old version! :ubercool: Seriously, it's funny...isn't it?
 

matt.m

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
2,521
Reaction score
121
Location
St. Louis
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

Terry, I would speculate that these objections come from "Non serious" students. Geez, I couldn't find and instructor in MSK under 40.

People are taught to believe that "You get what you pay for." I have friends that go to different TKD schools. They come to my house for help, yet there belt is higher in grade than I. They pay 120 a month for their school and get essientially 35/50 minutes of training 2x a week.

People as a whole will believe younger = more athletic = better instruction. I am here to tell you, even if I wasn't crippled up now....that there is no way I could have taught judo better than I can now.

Age=experience
Weight=just a fact of life
Price increase=yes you may chase a few away, but what would that do to your current student base?

Just my thought.
 

kidswarrior

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
2,697
Reaction score
151
Location
California
Terry, I would speculate that these objections come from "Non serious" students. Geez, I couldn't find and instructor in MSK under 40.

People are taught to believe that "You get what you pay for." I have friends that go to different TKD schools. They come to my house for help, yet there belt is higher in grade than I. They pay 120 a month for their school and get essientially 35/50 minutes of training 2x a week.

People as a whole will believe younger = more athletic = better instruction. I am here to tell you, even if I wasn't crippled up now....that there is no way I could have taught judo better than I can now.

Age=experience
Weight=just a fact of life
Price increase=yes you may chase a few away, but what would that do to your current student base?

Just my thought.

Excellent post, Matt. Hapkido done right is like that, in my experience--great art that's uncompromising. Unfortunately, 'tho it was my first love, my joints just couldn't do it at the age I began.

Keep up the good work--and mentoring.
 

exile

To him unconquered.
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,669
Reaction score
247
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Tez, I've never contradicted you but you may have pushed me too far. I may decide to get my ID out to prove you wrong. :ultracool And if that somehow doesn't work, there's the matter of my Grand Master, who is 14 years older than I. He'll be 70 this year, and my goal is to get a little younger every year as he must have done, so by the time I'm his age I'll finally be able to move and fight like he does! :tantrum:

Tez, sorry, but I gotta go w/Kidswarrior on this. I instruct TKD and I'm going to be 60 in exactly two weeks, and I know from other posts of yours that I'm much the better part of a decade older than you. So this is one you don't get to win, LOL!
 

Latest Discussions

Top